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Selling Your Home Quickly in Phoenix, Arizona

When homeowners are ready to sell their house, how their house is presented for sale can make a big difference in how fast it sells, and at what price.  When selling your home quickly in Phoenix, Arizona, a seller needs to prepare their home to appeal to as many buyers as possible.  The home you live in is not the house you put on the market.

In this article you will find many ideas to make your home appealing to buyers, simple ideas to update and show the home in the best light.  Most buyers today start their home search on the internet, hence high-quality photos of decluttered rooms are important to buyers.

Contents

?  What Does a Decluttered Home Look Like?

Okay, so Realtors always tell sellers to declutter their home before the home goes on the market.  What does a decluttered home look like?  Do you really need to depersonalize your home? Do you really need to declutter all the rooms?  Let’s take a look.

 

?️  Kitchen

Start with your kitchen and look in all cupboards and drawers.  You are moving, so go through each cabinet and drawer and remove duplicate items you don’t use.  Have boxes ready labeled  KEEP, DONATE, GIVE AWAY.  It is important that buyers see there is plenty of room for storage.

Also,  if your cupboards are crammed full, they will likely think they won’t have enough storage either.  If you have a pantry, be sure the shelves are neat and organized.  Remove everything off the counters other than a coffee pot and a bowl of fruit. You probably use your coffee maker daily, but not the large mixer stand or crockpot. Store away all counter appliances. 

You want buyers to take in the generous counter space, and if every inch of the counter is full of items, buyers will feel the kitchen is not big enough.

?  Look at Your Kitchen Through The Eyes of a Buyer

Look at your kitchen, for instance. Do you have a refrigerator full of magnets, pictures, and to-do lists?  Also, remove all magnets and school projects from the front and sides of your refrigerator.  Additionally, do you have cereal boxes on top of the refrigerator?  Find a place for them out of the site.

Remove everything from the counters other than maybe your butcher block of knives (if they look nice) and coffee pot.  You want the countertops to look roomy.  The more appliances you have on top of the counters the more you send the message that this house doesn’t have enough storage.

?  Dining Room

Be sure your dining room table is cleared off, other than a flower arrangement.  Also, make sure your dining room looks like a dining room.  Buyers get confused when a dining room looks like an office or playroom.

Clear off any sideboards, consider removing extra chairs so the room in inviting and appear spacious.  Also, be sure all light bulbs work and lights are on when your house is shown to prospective buyers.

?    Master Bedroom

Roomy Master Bedroom

Roomy Master Bedroom – Buyers walk into a Master suite and expect that extra space will be a sitting area, not a home office stacked with boxes, books, magazines, and papers.    There are really two parts to decluttering.

One is having the right furniture and the other is removing the “stuff”.  Also, boxes, books, pictures, piles of the magazines that you are going to get so someday do not belong in a bedroom when you put your house on the market.  Since you are moving, start to declutter and decide what to give away and what to keep!

❓   Don’t Confuse Buyers

Buyers get confused by odd pieces of furniture in a room.  For example, in the master bedroom, you expect a  bed, a dresser, or two and nightstands with lamps.  If you have a sitting area you expect a chair or two, maybe a lamp and a small table.  Remove extra cabinets and chairs.

?️  Living Room

Start your decluttering process by looking at your furniture.  Is the furniture in good condition? Do you need to remove it or perhaps get slipcovers? Also, remember, less is more when it comes to furniture in a room.  Does that piece belong in this room?

Does it add to the room? Minimize the furniture in the room and move furniture out from the wall. Clear off the end tables and coffee tables.  One magazine tastefully placed on a coffee table is fine or a plant is fine, for instance. If you have shelves under the end tables or coffee tables clear these out or place a couple of books there but remove the stack of papers.

?  Closets

declutter
declutter

Take a look at all the closets in the house, your buyers will!  If you have a hall or entry closet, minimize the jackets and boxes stored there.

Because buyers will open all closets and drawers, all need to be decluttered!  Again, you are moving, so start packing up now!  Look at your master closet.  Show the buyers there is plenty of room for clothes to hang and room to store items on the shelves.  Line shoes up neatly.

Look in your linen closet, again pack up items you don’t immediately, especially seasonal items you won’t use for a while.  Additionally, be sure towels are neatly folded and stacked.  Any extra toiletries should be neatly organized.

?  Kids Rooms

We all know kids have their toys and favorite things.  There are probably many items they have outgrown that can be stored away or donated.  Start early to declutter the kids’ room and organize bins or shelves. Again, if the room looks too small for your kids, they are probably too small for a buyer’s too!

Garage

The garage is a key area for buyers to see how much space is available for cars and storage.  Declutter and eliminate everything that you don’t use or immediate need.  Also, if you have storage cabinets in your garage be sure they are organized.

Often sellers move boxes, furniture, and other items to the garage to clear out the house.  Unfortunately now the garage looks cluttered and it sends the same message, there is not enough room in this house!  Consider renting a storage unit for a few months.

You can declutter the house, get rid of items you no longer need or want.  Take the time to donate usable but unnecessary items.

The Money Is In The Details in Selling Your Home Quickly

Buyers need to picture themselves in the house they are walking through. They often get distracted by things out of the ordinary, such as clutter, furniture in a none traditional location in the house (ie a dining room used as a den or a dining room used as a bedroom).

If you are thinking of selling your house, talk to your realtor and take a stroll through a model home.

Model homes are furnished with modern furniture, appropriate window treatments with drapes and windows wide open to allow light to enter. Walls have attractive artwork that compliments the home, it doesn’t distract from the mood.  Also, stacks of books, papers, boxes, and extra furniture distract buyers.

Clutter will make a home look small and send a loud message to buyers that this house lacks enough storage.  Buyers may think that if the current owner has run out of space, they will soon find themselves in that same situation.

Remember, you are moving!  Why not start packing up things you do not need every day. By packing items up early and moving excess furniture and other items to a storage unit, buyers can see the true potential of your house, they can picture themselves living in your house.  They can imagine their friends and family enjoying special times together.

How To Sell A House To A Family Member in Arizona

You may ask, how do you sell a home to a family member?  Selling your home without an experienced real estate agent can be risky.  Oh, it sounds easy.  You agree on a price and a date to transfer ownership, then complete the sale, right?  While there are several factors to consider, you can absolutely do this successfully.  Just be sure to consider the following potential issues.

 

 

Price Your Home Correctly

A seller normally sets a price, the buyer then makes an offer and if necessary, buyers and sellers negotiate to arrive at an agreeable sales price.  The challenge you may run into is finding a price agreeable to the buyer and seller. 

Typically the real estate agent will look for comparable sales in your area and comparable homes actively for sale.  The real estate professional will compare the properties and adjust based on the condition of a house and location.

  A home of similar size near you may be worth much more due to updates to the property.  It could be worth much less because you have updated your house and they haven’t.  You and the seller may not agree on the value of updates (or the lack of them).

Get an Appraisal on the Property

Consider paying an appraiser to do a professional appraisal on your house.  Also, appraisers are experts in pricing homes, taking into account the current market value.

The appraiser is an independent third party to no attachment to the sale.  You will want to have the legal sellers and legal buyers to sign the documents.  Title companies in Arizona will often provide an information packer for a For Sale By Owner to use in the transaction.Additionally, appraisers appraise dozens of houses each month so they will add value for a 3 car garage, a swimming pool, golf course lot, or other special features of the home.

Determine what paperwork you will use

Decide what documentation you will use to state the agreed-upon sales price, closing date, and what, if any other furniture or appliances also will be part of the sale. You will want to have the legal sellers and legal buyers to sign the documents.

Title companies in Arizona will often provide an information packer for a For Sale By Owner to use in this type of transaction.

Should the Buyer Get A Loan?

A buyer can get a loan to purchase a home not being sold through a real estate agent.  The lender will want a copy of the purchase contract and will ask the buyer for all the same information as they would for a real estate agent purchase.  

 

The buyer should ask the lender for a letter stating the type of loan they are obtaining.  Also, a lender can also provide a pre-qualification letter for the seller.  A wise seller will want proof the buyer can complete the purchase.  Additionally, even if the buyer is family, it is prudent to confirm the buyer can obtain a loan and the lender can fund the sale by the sale date agreed to buy the buyer and seller.

Don’t forget to turn on or off your utilities. Get the complete list of utilities for the Phoenix area.

Should A Seller Finance the Relative’s Home Purchase?

Sellers can certainly finance the loan for the buyer.  Again, this needs to be documented.  The buyer and seller need to agree on the interest rate and payment due date.  Also, a wise seller should also document the payment of late fees.  Sellers should also document what happens if the buyer does not make the payments.  In Arizona, standard public loans state a bank can foreclose on a property if no payment is made for 6 months.

At 90 days of no payment,  in Arizona, the banks issue a “notice of default”.  Additionally, this puts the homeowner on notice that they are 90 days late and in 90 more days, they will foreclose on the property.  The borrowers can bring the loan current day before the end of the 90 days.

Be Ready For Tough Decisions

Sellers should be sure they are willing to make difficult decisions should a family member default on the loan.  The terms and conditions you put in the purchase contract will ensure if a buyer (family member) doesn’t honor their loan commitment, the seller has appropriate legal recourse.

Should the Buyer get a Home Inspection?

Buyers of a relative’s property should definitely get a home inspection!  Often on the home inspection, problems are identified that the seller was not aware of.  For instance, most of us do not go on our roofs in Arizona and inspect the tile and mortar caps.   Also, buyers of a relative’s home will probably not look under every sink, check for water drainage in all sinks and tubs or laundry rooms.  A home inspector is a neutral third party who looks at the main aspects of the home during a standard home inspection

When selling a home, you may also be interested in reading about The Home Inspections process.

Arizona Home Inspectors Must be State Licenced

In Arizona, home inspectors are required to be licensed by the state.  Home inspectors follow w set process to inspect a house, attic, roof, sprinkler and other systems.  The buyer can review the report and decide if they want to ask the seller to make repairs.  At a minimum, the buyer should be aware of any issues in the house and can proceed accordingly.

Should a Buyer Get A Termite Inspection?

In Arizona, we have a saying:  Homes either have had termites or will have termites.  Also, termites in the Phoenix area are typically subterranean termites.  They move slowly and live in the ground.  Often the first indicator of termites is the termite tube on the stem wall of the house.  Additionally, termites build “tubes” from the ground into the house.  Termites need to have moisture hence the tubes they build.  Any home buyer in the Phoenix Metro area should have a termite inspection.  If termites are detected, the house needs to be treated for termites.

Do You Need A Home Warranty?

Buyers should consider asking the seller to pay for a home warranty.  This is a warranty that covers the first year in the home.  Should appliances, the water heater, AC unit, or pool have repairs, the home warranty can offset the expense of a major repair for the homeowner.  Most real estate agents involved in a purchase transaction will request a home warranty paid for by the seller for the home buyer. Often offering a home warranty up front is a nice gesture for Sellers.

Strained Family Relationships

Could a family sale strain family relations/?  What if a buyer doesn’t get a home inspection, and subsequently finds a problem with the house?  Could sparks fly between the seller and buyer/?  Will the buyer think the seller was not honest with all the information on the house?

sell a house to a family membe Will the seller have feelings hurt because they may not have been aware of a problem?  Families need to decide if they can withstand any housing issues that may surface from a family transaction. Buyers and sellers need to consider the family dynamics that could plague them for years.

What If the Home Doesn’t Appraise at Contract Price

What if the buyer is getting a traditional loan and the property doesn’t meet the appraised price?  As with any home purchase, the seller will need to agree to drop the price. Or, the buyer can pay a bit more for the house and bring in more down payment. OR the buyer can walk away from the transaction. What happens to family dynamics when this happens? Again you don’t have a buyer and seller willing to be flexible in a transaction who knows what long term impact there will be on family relationships.

Use  a Title Company

sell a house to a relative

You will definitely want to use a title company, which is a neutral third party to hold the earnest money, receive the buyer’s loan and pay off taxes or loans accordingly to the particular situation.  The title company will also run a title report to ensure there are no liens on the property.  Maybe your relative didn’t intentionally mislead you regarding what they owe on the property, but buyers should protect themselves against any risky situation.

Do you have a seller net proceeds calculator?

Does The Seller Need to Provide Seller Disclosures in Arizona?

Sellers in Arizona are required to tell buyers specific information about the property and the property condition. A seller must disclose important information that would affect the buyer’s decision to purchase a property or the price paid for the property.  (This requirement is a legal requirement in Arizona as a result of state statutes and court cases).

Sellers usually complete a seller’s disclosure statement.  When transactions use real estate agents, they require the seller to complete a Seller Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS).  Today, this is an eight-page document. A real estate agent will require a buyer to sign the document as proof of receipt.

Buyers who sign the document are not agreeing or disagreeing with the document, just providing proof they were given the document.

What is a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure?

Arizona law requires a buyer to be notified that properties built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint.  Transactions involving a real estate agent require the buyer, buyer’s agent, the seller, and the seller’s agent to sign this document.

This ensures buyers are aware of the potential lead-based paint, and the buyers are giving written information on lead-based paint.

Sellers need to consider several potential pitfalls if they are planning to sell their property to relatives.  With the right safeguards in place, this can be accomplished.  Is the sale of someone’s biggest financial asset best protected as a for sale by owner transaction?  This transaction could also have legal ramifications if not completed correctly.

A better option may be to list your home for sale with a real estate agent, and if your relative provides the best contract offer, they get the house.  Do you want the most money for your home?  Sellers typically get the most money with the widest exposure to the property.  Listing a  property in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) gives you this advantage.

Seller Property Disclosures

In Arizona, sellers are required to disclose any “material” facts about a property. A material fact is considered to be information that could impact a buyer’s decision to buy a property or affect the amount they would offer for the property.  The Arizona Association of Realtors has a Residential Seller Disclosure Advisory for sellers to complete.  This document is completed by the seller for the benefit of the buyer.  It is important for sellers to disclose what they know about the property.  The standard state of Arizona form walks the seller through 5 sections that cover the property and additional space for the seller to add any other pertinent information.

 

 

Ownership and Property

In this section, sellers state the names of the legal owners of the property.  Sellers disclose whether the property is covered by a Home Owner’s Association and whether there are any assessments the seller is aware of.  This section covers general information a seller should know, which a buyer would want to know to decide to purchase a property.  Most information is straight forward and easy for sellers to answer.

Building and Safety Information

This section addresses structural issues with the property, This section also addresses termites, plumbing, electrical and pool aspects of the property.  While buyers who have lived in a property for many years may not recall every visit by a plumber or electrician, they should recall anything that was a major issue.  Sellers are expected to provide routine maintenance of their property,  Here buyers are looking for anything unusual or identifying issues to be concerned with.

Utilities

A seller must disclose what utility services are available at the property, ie electricity, gas water, cable or other utility providers.  This helps the buyer identify the service providers.

Buyers may prefer one service provider over another, ie in Phoenix SRP (Salt River Project) versus APS (Arizona Public Service)

Environmental Information

Here sellers must disclose anything they know about the property regarding the environment.  This includes landfills, settling soil (which we do have in the outlying Phoenix areas) and

addresses any known issues such as soil settling, landfills, etc.

 

Sewer/Waste Water Treatment

This is where sellers disclose whether the property is hooked to a sewer or perhaps has a septic system.  Typically within the city limits properties, today are connected to a sewer system.   It is not unusual for homes in rural areas to be on a septic system.

Can A Seller Refuse to Provide Property Disclosures?

We often see sellers declining to provide a Seller Property Disclosure Statement, citing the fact that they have never lived in the home.  The state of Arizona in this document is not asking if someone has lived in a property.  They are asking what the seller knows about the property. 

A seller who rented a house out for 5 years would be aware of repair items as they would have paid for those repairs.  Again, not living in a property does not mean the owner isn’t aware of issues or repairs to the property.  We also see this often with investor properties.

The investor bought a property, went in and repaired, or updated the property.  Again, they may not have lived in the house, but there do know what has been updated.  They also know if they encountered such issues as mold, electrical, or plumbing issues.

Again, the question is not whether the owner lived in the property.  The state of Arizona wants buyers to have the full benefit of what the seller knows about the property.  This information could affect the amount of money a buyer is willing to pay for the property.  This information could also affect whether the buyer wants to cancel the contract and not proceed with the sale.

Does a Buyer have Recourse if A Seller Lies?

Sellers who fail to disclose could find themselves with legal action from a buyer.  If a buyer finds an issue that the seller should have disclosed, there are legal remedies open to them.  It isn’t unusual for neighbors to be aware of house issues, and they could well share this information with a buyer.

 

What is a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure?

This is a federal law requiring sellers to disclosure to buyers that the home was built prior to 1978 and could contain lead-based paint.  It is then up the buyer to do any lead-based testing they feel they want to do.  The seller is only required to disclose there “may” be lead-based paint in the home.

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What is an Important or Material Fact?

In Arizona, sellers are required to disclose important or material issues.  These are those that have an impact on the value of the property, the buyer’s decision to purchase, or use of the property”.  We don’t what know is “material” to a buyer. Therefore, sellers are asked to disclose anything that could affect the buyer’s decision to move ahead with the sale.  Typically, a scratch the wall or a crack in a tile is not “material” facts on the house condition.  The facts a seller would want to disclose would likely include things a buyer can’t see, such as prior repairs or damage, ie fire damage, roof damage and repair from a storm, a prior slab leak, etc.

What don’t I Have to Disclose?

A sex offender living in the area – Many sellers may not know if there is an offender in the area.  However, buyers can look up this information by going to the Arizona Department of Safety Sex Offender Database

Sellers are not required to disclose a death on the property. This would include a natural death, murder or suicide.  However, in many older homes years ago it was typical for the homeowner to die at home. Therefore some homes on the east coast of the midwest could have had multiple deaths due to natural causes.

15 Mistakes Sellers Make

A seller is not required to disclose whether a felony was committed on the property

A buyer will not typically see any disclosures on whether the house was owned by someone with AIDS, HIV or any other disease that could be transmitted by occupancy in a property.

In any case, if a seller is asked a question directly, they must answer or state they will not answer.  They just can not lie to the buyer.  If the seller truly does not know an answer of “I don’t know” is acceptable.  Remember, the seller is to disclose what they know.  They are not expected to know every bit of history about the house.  But, the seller is expected to answer truthfully.

I want to sell my home myself as a FSBO (For Sale By Owner)

Arizona law does not make a distinction between sellers selling their own property or those using a real estate agent.  All sellers must disclose what they know about a property without a buyer having to ask.  A homeowner selling their own home is not exempt from disclosure.  However, sellers in a private sale are often unaware of the legal requirements.

Sellers are expected to provide full disclosure of any information about their property that would affect a buyer’s decision to buy the property.  They are also required to disclose anything that could affect the price a buyer is willing to pay for the property.

Buyers should get a home inspection. In Arizona, buyers have 10 days to complete any inspections that are important to them.  This is typically a home inspection, termite inspection, pool inspection, and roof inspection.   Buyers should review the seller disclosures prior to completing their inspection.  This is helpful to be able to focus on previous repairs.

How to sell your house Using a Real Estate Agent

When it comes time to sell your home, you have several options to get your home sold.  You can decide to sell your house your self, but will that get you the most money for your home? Do you really want to become a real estate agent?

You can look for a licensed real estate agent to get the job done.  There are several questions you need to ask of any real estate agent before you hire someone to get the job done.  Here are a few questions to ask before making your decision.

 

9 Questions to ask a Real Estate Agent before you hire one.

cartoon picture of a man with question marks around his head

Talk to more than one agent and ask how much they charge to sell a house.  Also, ask what they do to get a house sold?  All Real Estate agents are independent contractors.  The money they will spend to market your home will vary from agent to agent. This means that the cost to market your home is a direct cost to the agent, not their brokerage. Hiring a real estate agent is essential for selling your home quickly.

Will they use a professional photographer? 

Will there be a virtual tour of your home online?  Also, do they use drones for aerial photography? If you live on a preserve lot or on a golf course, it may be beneficial for the photos showcasing your house to lend a birds’ eye view or the surrounding area.

Will there be a video or virtual tour of the house?  Buyers starting online searching for homes want to see a home from all angles.  Additionally, if buyers are seeing bad pictures, they will quickly move on to the next home.

Do They Provide a Virtual Tour?

In the world of COVID-19, many buyers prefer to look online for homes. Buyers need to see Professional pictures.  This is just the start.  Buyers also want to see virtual tours. They need to get a true feel of the property.  Only those properties that convey what the buyer is looking for will ultimately receive a visit and subsequently an offer.

Are they familiar with social media?

Will your house be featured on Blogs? Facebook Ads? What website will showcase your property?  We know 95% (or more) of buyers start online when beginning a home search.  You want your house to be seen by as many people as possible, and just putting it in MLS today is not enough for maximum exposure.

Will your home be on Real Estate Agent tours? 

When there is a real estate agent tour, you will get feedback from multiple agents who are viewing your home and providing written feedback to your agent.  Your agent will then share this feedback with you.  This is helpful to get many agents’ opinions on the landscape, curb appeal. flooring, paint, etc.

Are you wondering if you should update or replace anything?  The feedback from the tour may answer that question from a group of professionals.  Also, agents on agent tours can tell their buyers about your house.

Will they hold open houses?                                Open House Sign

Buyers are often touring neighborhoods before they start working with an agent.  Open houses can offer the greatest exposure for your house.  Neighbors often have friends and family interested in their neighborhood. An open house, which is marketed correctly can draw many potential buyers to your house.  In today’s COVID-19 world, most savvy agents are using Virtual tours to market homes.

Are they a local agent?

Will they be able to meet someone at the house who happens to drive by and ay want to see the house on short notice?  Do they have someone to show the property if they are not imediately available?

Are they familiar with the area? 

Can they tell you about options for schools and other community information so your home is showcased in the best possible light?  Are they familiar with the nuances of your area?  Do they know what schools are in the area?  This would include not only public schools but private or charter schools as well.

 

Do they have staging services available?                         

furniture to stage a house
Light, Bright, Open and Inviting

Most homes will benefit from professional staging so your home looks decluttered and furniture is placed in a way to attract many buyers.

How well do they negotiate?

An agent offering a low commission may not be the best negotiator.  Ask how many deals a month they negotiate.  Ask whether they have been to any negotiation training or professionally negotiated in a previous job.  Agents need to not only negotiate a purchase contract, complete with the sales price, closing dates, etc. They also need to be able to negotiate any repairs and negotiate any issues with an appraiser. An agent that saves you $4,000 in commissions but gives up $10,000 of your equity may not be the agent for you.

I want to SELL your home

How will they communicate with you?

When selling a house, sellers need and want constant communication from their agents.  You want to get feedback each time an agent shows your house.  You will want feedback from the real estate agent tour. No news is no news.

As a seller, feedback is very important.  Should you change something in the house? Is there something a buyer didn’t like that could easily be changed?

So once you have asked an agent these questions, you are in a position to decide which agent to choose.  Select an agent you are comfortable talking to and asking questions.  This becomes a long-term relationship, perhaps several months long.

You need to be communicated in the manner you are comfortable and feel comfortable asking questions.  Also, you can expect your house to be on the market for several weeks or months and 30 – 45 days during the contract to the actual closing period.

 

How Do You Sell a Vacant Home?

There may be many reasons to sell a home that is already vacant.  Sometimes sellers want to move out completely prior to putting a house on the market. Also, maybe a house has been a rental and once the renters have moved out, they are ready to sell.  Whatever the reason, here are some tips for making your vacant house a house that sells quickly!

 

 

Do I Need to Leave the Utilities on?

Granted you don’t want to pay for utilities that you are not using, but buyers entering the house need to see a light and bright property.  Often hallways and closets are dark.  You don’t want someone to fall while in the house or miss a step.  If the lights are only turned on when someone is viewing the house, you probably will not incur much expense.

utilities in Mountain Park ranch
utilities in Mountain Park ranch

Also, in Arizona it gets hot!  You want to be sure the air conditioning is on during the summer. You can set the thermostat at 75 or 80 degrees.  In the winter leave the heat on during the winter.  Since we don’t really get that cold, set the thermostat to 60 degrees to minimize costs. You want a buyer to stay in the house to look around, not leave quickly because it is uncomfortable to continue looking around.

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How so I Sell My Vacant House Fast?

If you are selling a vacant house, you want to get it sold fast for several reasons.  First, there is always a risk of vandalism.  Be sure all the doors and windows are locked securely.  If you are using a real estate agent, be sure the lockbox on the house is a real estate electronic box.  This will register an agent who shows the house.  Only licensed real estate agents can get into the house.  If you put on a standard contractor lockbox with a 4 digit code, this can be given to anyone.  There is no tracking on who has used this code for access.

Have lights come on in the evenings. You may need to add a few lamps on timers in bedrooms. Have someone stop by periodically to gather any flyers or newspapers left in the driveway to by the front door.

Do I have to keep it Clean?

Be sure to have the home professionally deep cleaned.  This especially important when there is no furniture in the house to distract the buyer. All they can focus on is the space in general, and the condition of flooring and walls. In addition, make sure the window sills are clean and dust-free.  If the curtains are dusty, consider cleaning them or removing them.  Be sure any pot shelves that are visible from the stairs are clean.  Bathrooms should be shiny clean along with all light fixtures or ceiling fans.

The tub/shower grout should be clean, and if not, replace it. Also, don’t forget to replace the air filters.  Additionally, in the kitchen give careful attention to the sink and faucet area.  If there is a calcium build-up, consider a product like CLR  to remove the calcium.

All the drawers cupboards should be wiped out. Also, if you have contact paper in use, remove as well. Be sure all doors and door handles are clean. If you have sliding doors, be sure the door track in clean.  Again, buyers have nothing to focus on except floors, walls, and ceilings and dirt is a definite turn off.  Windows should be cleaned inside and out. If you have sun shades on the house as many of us do in Phoenix, take them off the windows while the house is on the market.  While these shades will keep out the heat, they also keep out the light!

How do I Stage an Empty House?

It is easy to add warmth and interest to a house with small staging items.  In the kitchen add brightly colored towels, a stand with a recipe book, a few canisters on the countertops.  In the bathroom, add fresh towels and a few decorative items on the vanity.  Consider hanging a few pieces of art on bigger walls.  Add a tall plant to a corner of the living room, bedroom, or dining room.  Add a nice welcome mat to the front door and a few colorful rugs in the house.

Do I need to Have a Great Curb Appeal?

Just because a house is vacant, it doesn’t need to look like it from the outside.  You always want to keep your lawn well maintained and bushes trimmed.  The first impression a buyer will have of your house is at the curb.  What do they see walking to the front door?  Does the front door look tired with peeling paint?  Are there mailers piled up at the door?  Has the latest dust storm left the front door looking dusty and dirty?  Summers in Arizona can be very dusty so keep the front door and entry area free of dust and debris.

If the front of your house looks tired and “vacant”, buyers will already decide the house is worth less than your listing price. If a buyer is seeing a shabby house they are also seeing dollar signs and adding up the cost to make repairs.

Should I Make small Repairs?

Sellers should walk through the house like a buyer and look for small repairs items that could be a turn off for a buyer. The National Association of Realtors state that buyers typically think a repair will cost three times more than the actual repair.  This means a minor repair you can do for $50 translates into a $150 expense in the buyer’s mind. Buyers often don’t have an idea of the cost to repaint a room or replace a faucet or ceiling fan.

When buyers are overwhelmed with repair issues, it could make the buyer want to offer less on the house because they think there are many repairs needed.  Also, buyers relocating from out of town do not have a list of resources to make repairs so they may move on to another property in better repair.stage a vacant house

Look at all your faucets and be sure the sink faucets are not leaking.  So, check out the showers for any dripping.  Look under the sink and check for any moisture.  Check your doorknobs and be sure they are not loose.

Look High and Low!

Look at all light switches and electrical plates.  Replace any cracked or broken plates.  These cost pennies to replace but will keep a home inspector from calling these out on an inspection report. Look for any loose or ripped carpet and repair.  Are there any broken draws in the kitchen or bathrooms. Buyers will be opening and closing the doors. Check closet doors.

If you have sliding closet doors, be sure the guide is in place.  Buyers don’t want to see closet doors swinging and home inspectors will point these out to buyers. Take a walk around the house and look for any water leaks on the hose bib. Are all the gates functioning correctly? Is your sprinkler system leaking? Do you see any cracked windows?

Should I Upgrade all Light Bulbs and Turn on Lights?

You want your house to show light and bright.  Also, be sure all the light bulbs are working.  Sometimes people unscrew a few bulbs in a room so the room isn’t too bright.  Be sure all light bulbs are in the fixtures and working!  Use the highest bulb allowable by that particular light socket.  Additionally, when buyers see a light that doesn’t work, they immediately think the fixture is broken, when it is actually a burnt-out bulb.  Take the doubt out, replace the bulb!  Be sure the light fixture and ceiling fans are spotlessly cleaned!

Should I Consider a Security System?

Consider buying an inexpensive home security system.  There are many phone-based systems on the market today.  Additionally, you may have heard of the RING doorbell.  This shows you who is at your front door and elsewhere in the house.  This is helpful to be able to make sure lights have turned off and doors locked.  This is helpful should you detect any activity you weren’t expecting.  For sellers out of town, this is helpful to manage your vacant house.

Should I Alert Neighbors the House is Vacant?

Be sure to alert your neighbors the house will be vacant.

newspaper

Ask them to notify you should they see anything unusual.  There are times when a vacant property has been taken over by squatters.  Also, the last thing you want is for your For Sale sign to be removed and someone moving in. Your neighbors can help you avoid this.

Should I Consider Staging with A Professional Stager?

A professional stager can provide several levels of property staging. This could include light staging with such items as a few chairs, pillows, plants, and wall hangings.  Staggers do not need to stage every single room.  Also, we do find that bathrooms and kitchens are key to staging. Colorful pieces accenting a home warms up the home for the buyer.

Should I Consider Virtual Staging?

Today we see much more virtual staging.  This is adding furniture and furnishings to a picture of an empty room.  This helps buyers gage the size of a room. It also helps buyers picture themselves living in our house.  Many services will provide virtual staging for a minimal cost.  This virtual stating will offer color and interest to rooms.  Buyers can see a dining room as a dining room.  They can see bedrooms as bedrooms.  The key for buyers is to picture themselves living in your house.  Not all buyers have the ability to imagine how your space could be used for their living.

It is possible to sell a vacant house with the right preparation.  If you are out of town or across town, your real estate agent will help check on the property and alert you to any problems.  The key will be to ensure repairs are completed ahead of time.  When real estate agents are showing vacant properties, the benefit is scheduling these properties to show is very easy.  We aren’t waiting for pets to be removed from the house or small children to finish naps before showing.  With the right marketing and pricing, the goal will be to sell your house fast!

 

Should I Sell My House Quickly For Cash?

The world of real estate has gotten more complex with the entrance into the market of what the industry is calling “Ibuyers”.  Some sellers wonder if they should sell their house quickly for cash. These are companies that will buy your house for cash.

These companies have different approaches, but mainly offer to buy your house quickly for cash.  The buyer doesn’t have to put their house on the market, eliminating the need to show the house to prospective buyers.  This does sound attractive to some sellers, but is it really the best option for you?

As always, the answer is, It Depends.  It depends on your personal situation and family needs.  Who are the “Ibuyers”?  This may be Open Door, Offerpad, Zillow, Purple Bricks, etc.

If you are considering asking for a cash offer you will want to read about Keller Offers.

Will I get Top Dollar For My Home

When one of the “Ibuyers”, make an offer on your house, often it is sight unseen.  They gather some information on your house, such as age, condition, and house amenities.  They send you an offer for the house.  Without fail, the plan is to purchase your home, then put it back on the market.Should I Sell My House Quickly For Cash?

So, how can anyone buy your house today and put it back on the market tomorrow?  These companies do not work for free.  They need to make a profit in order to buy your home.

Also, when homes are put on the multiple listing services, there is wide exposure to buyers.  Sellers will likely receive more money for their house, ie Top Dollar, buy exposing it to as many buyers as possible.

However, if you are a seller looking for convenience, this may be the right answer for you. Sellers experiencing financial issues, death, divorce, or difficulty making the mortgage payment may find a quick offer appealing.

More Money For Me?

The Ibuyers typically do not ask sellers to make repairs, however, they will still conduct a home inspection.  This may be with a state-licensed home inspector (In Arizona home inspectors are licensed by the state).  Or, they could send out a general contractor to evaluate the house condition.

After the inspection, they will typically identify a dollar amount needed to put the home back on the market.  Sellers will then give the Ibuyer a credit closing in lieu of actually making repairs.  Sometimes this can be a substantial amount.  So no, you may not have to actually make the repairs, but you will pay for them, one way or another!Should I Sell My House Quickly For Cash?

Will I save on Real Estate Agent Commissions?

If an Ibuyer purchase your house, you are not paying the typical real estate commissions, however, you are still paying fees.  Some of these companies will charge a typical 6% fee we often see real estate agents charging.

They may also charge a “convenience” fee of 2 – 3 %.

This brings the “fees” being charged the seller up to 8%.  These fees are separate from any monies collected for anticipated repairs. So you may not pay a “real estate commission”, but you are paying fees.

These companies charge this fee so they have funds to pay the real estate agents when they do put the property on the market.  The “convenience”  fee is just extra for them.

So, if you sell your house for $300,000 to the IBuyer company, you are paying 8$% in selling fees, or $24,000 – $27,000.  However, your circumstance may benefit from a quick cash offer.  You would not have to get your house is showing condition, make repairs, etc.  You also will not have the inconvenience of making the house available for showings.

Do You Have More Time or Money?

This model with an Ibuyer may work for some folks.  While we in real estate think everyone wants top dollar for their house, for some people it is about convenience.  Think about someone who inherits a parent’s property out of state.

The best option for that person may be to get a quick cash sale.  Some sellers have an offer in on another property and may lose that opportunity without a quick sale.Should I Sell My House Quickly For Cash?

The real question is, can you put a property on the market for 30 – 60 days or so to walk away with $20,000 – $30,000?  This becomes a personal choice.

If you have 3 small children and a few pets, having your house showing ready may be stressful.  However, what can you do with $20,000 – $30,000 in your pocket?  These funds could go a long way to furnishing your new home or savings for kids’ college!

Can I Select My Closing Date?

One feature many of the Ibuyers offers is the ability for the seller to pick there closing date.  But guess what? Any purchase offer from a buyer will allow the seller to select a closing date.

When a traditional buyer makes an offer on a house, the purchase offer not only includes a purchase price, it also includes a closing date.  If the date is not acceptable to the seller, the seller can do a counteroffer for a different date.  But, most transactions take 30 – 45 days to close.  A seller looking for a quick cash close might find the iBuyer offer meets their needs.  Ask your agent about Keller Offers.

What if I Don’t Want to be inconvenienced to Show My Home?

When sellers have their homes on the market, they do need to make the home available for buyers to view the house.  However, the times the home is available are up to the seller.  Sometimes sellers with small children will limit showings to block out nap time.

Should I Sell My House Quickly For Cash?

Routines and naps are important to many families.  Sellers can control when a home is being shown.  So while it sounds great to not have to have your home available for buyers, there is a cost. Most people have more time than money.

You have to ask yourself if it is worth a bit of inconvenience to save $20,000, or $30,000 or more to have your house shown to multiple buyers.  Do most sellers make $20,000 or $30,000 per month?  Price your home right and it will sell!

Are you A Good Negotiator?

Selling your home to an Ibuyer is really being a For Sale By Owner (FSBO).  You the seller, are negotiating the sale and repairs for your own home.  Think about it.  The buyer of your home is an experienced real estate professional who negotiates dozens of homes every month.selling house with realtor

You may have never have sold a home on your own.  Do you know what your home is worth?  If the buyer is asking for money for repairs, do you know the actual cost of those repairs?  Is $10,000 a valid number for the repairs they identify?  Can you counter offer either their offer or repair costs?  When you use a Keller Williams Realty agent for a Keller Offer, you will be represented in the transaction.

What is Your Home Really Worth?

An Ibuyer may give you the comparable property they used to determine the price they are offering for your home.  But, do you know if those are the best comparable properties?  They are picking and choosing the comparable properties they are sending you. Having representation in a Keller Offer ensures your needs are being looked after.

Are those the best and more recent comparable properties?  How far away from you are those properties.  Are they using properties an appraiser would be using for an appraisal on your property?  Also, how does the condition of the comparable properties really compare to yours?

A real estate agent will show you the actual comparable properties, include the listing pictures so you can see for yourself how those properties compare to your home.

What if I Need to Sell My House Before I Buy?

There are several options available to buyers that can allow them to time the purchase of a home with the sale of a home.  In today’s market, often seller will accept a buyer’s offer to purchase their house, contingent on the sale of their house.

Using the contingency clause allows a buyer to identify a house they want while selling their home.  The right real estate agent can help a buyer time the purchase and sale of a home to occur at the same time.  This allows the seller to get top dollar for their house while securing their next home.

Today’s sellers have many options when selling a house.  The right real estate agent can help you meet your goals, whether you are looking or the top-dollar or for convenience.

What are 15 Mistakes Sellers Make?

When selling a house, there are many mistakes we often see sellers making.  Here are 15 mistakes sellers make when selling a house. Selling a house is usually a very emotional experience for homeowners, especially when they have lived in the house for a while.

It can be difficult to sell a home where you raised your children and have happy family memories.  But at the end of the day, you are making one of the biggest financial transactions of your life.  As sellers want to get the most money from the sale of the house, it is easy to see dollar signs over good selling choices.

What if you are Emotionally Attached to the House?

This is easier said than done. When we live in a house for a period of time, we do get attached!  We may have raised our families here, we may recall happy gatherings with friends and family.  The house may be our first home, which we stressed over and happily purchased.

Regardless of our emotional attachment, sellers need to focus on their next home or what the sale of the home will do for them.  While are may love our home, focus on the reason for the move.

15 Mistakes Sellers Make

A new job? A life change? More room for your family?  Better schools?  Regardless of why we are selling, once the decision has been made, take steps to move forward successfully.

What Color Should I Paint The House?

I repeatedly tell sellers the home you live in is not the house you put on the market.  Go ahead when you move in and paint an accent wall red, paint your bathroom blue and furnish your home in a manner that makes you happy.

The day you put your house on the market, things change.  You want your home to appeal to the most buyers. You do not know if your next buyer will share your taste in colors.  Perhaps their furnishings are very different from yours and your colors will not complement their furnishings.

A house that is very dark and appears more masculine will not appeal to many buyers.  Conversely, a home with frilly curtains and lots of pink may be a turn off to other buyers.

Be sure your color palette is neutral.  Let buyers see the features of the home.  They need to see the great kitchen cabinets and counters, the lovely high windows, the great views, the lovely fireplace.  Do not distract them with your lime green kitchen!

Sellers Need to Declutter, Clean, Remove Religious Items & Collections

Buyers need to walk into a house and visualize themselves and their family living in that house.  They need to picture celebrations, holidays, and gatherings in this space.  When a home is decluttered and neutral, this visualization can take place.

Distract a buyer with frilly curtains and odd paint colors, and that visualization is interrupted.  Remove personal photos.  You do not want the buyer looking at your travels and family pictures, and getting distracted by visualizing themselves living in your home.

Understand That Your Very Custom Improvements May Not Appeal to All Buyers

Fact, sellers will not get back dollar for dollar every home improvement.  There is a difference between home improvements and routine maintenance.  Let me say that again.  There is a difference between home improvement and routine maintenance.

Putting in a new kitchen or bathroom does add value.  But, updates that are taste specific can turn off some buyers.  Let’s say you add beautiful new counters…..but rather than the typical black, white or earthy tones you opt for something in green or orange?15 Mistakes Sellers Make

While you may love this color, most buyers will not.  New counters = yes.  Added value in the buyer’s eyes = no.  Today we see some homes with polished concrete floors.

I can tell you few buyers love these.  The owners do like them, but to a buyer who hasn’t experienced polished concrete flooring, this may not be attractive.

I recently had a buy asking about the odd flooring she was seeing.  It turned out the floor was cork tile.  This buyer was completely turned off.

Home MaintenenceAlso, sellers are expected to maintain their homes and property.  Replacing or repairing your yard sprinkler system is routine maintenance. Sellers who replacing a broken toilet are doing routine maintenance.

Also, a $40,000 kitchen update 5 years ago will not return $40,000 to you today.

You have enjoyed your updates for years, styles do change, and your cabinets and counters have 5 years of wear and tear.  Will an appraiser give you some credit compared to a house with no updates, yes.  Appraisers do prorate updates.

How to Make Your House Appeal to the Majority of Buyers?

Houses need to appeal to the majority of buyers in your market.  Updates should be normal and customary for your price point.  Buyers expect to see higher-end finishes in higher-end homes.

A seller who puts in level 5 granite (higher-end and more expensive) in a $200,000 home will be over-improving the property.  Neutral colors, decluttering and cleaning are the “secret sauces” that sell homes.

Find the Right Agent – One Who can Negotiate

Sellers should hire an experienced agent familiar with their particular market.  Sometimes the only question a seller asks a listing agent is what is their commission? We have all heard the old adage that you get what you pay for.

Just because an agent will charge a reduced commission doesn’t mean they can get your house sold or negotiate the best deal for you.  Sellers only pay a commission when the house sells.

Hire the wrong agent or an inexperienced one and your house may not sell, so you are paying nothing!  Looks for agents with strong negotiation skills.  Your agent will need to negotiate with the buyer’s agent once a contract is received.  The contract is not only made up of a purchase price but can contain buyer requests that will cost the seller money!15 Mistakes Sellers Make

Look for public reviews on agents and look for 4 and 5-star ratings.  Read what past clients say about the agent and decide for your self if you like their communication and negotiation style.

A good negotiator may save you more than the 1% commission reduction an agent may be offering you.  Ask about their marketing and social media marketing. Today, over 95% of buyers start their home hunting with social media, and if your house is not prevalent on social media, you will be missing many buyers!

How Many Pictures do I Need?

Homebuyers are online looking at houses. Insist on 30 Plus Pictures Which Showcase Inside and Outside of the House.

Buyers who are several months out begin their hunting by checking out pricing and home amenities.  You will want 25 – 35 pictures at a minimum.  Sellers need great exterior pictures, include the front curb appeal as well as the back yard and patio areas.

In Arizona, we spend much of our time outside and a great pool and patio area are a must!  Houses need to showcase kitchens and bathrooms as we know those are the most important rooms to buyers.  Add a video or virtual tour to help the buyer get a complete feel of the inside and outside of the house.

Photos should be taken by a professional photographer.  Small iPhone pictures, showing the listing agent’s reflection in a mirror is very distracting to a buyer!

Unrealistic Price

A real estate agent can provide you comparable sales to help you decide on the right price.  Agents will typically identify three other properties on the market, active listings,  which have not sold yet.  These are part of your competition.

They will also identify three properties that have recently sold.  By looking at the pricing and amenities in these homes, sellers can see realistically where they need to price the home.

If a home very similar to your just sold for $350.000, why do you think yours would sell for $400,000? If other homes very similar to yours are price $345,000 – $360,000, why would you price yours at $400,000?

Buyer’s agents know the market and will help guide buyers to find the best home value for their money.  Buyers don’t care home much a seller “needs” from the sale of the house.  The market determines the home value.15 Mistakes Sellers Make

Even if a buyer wants to pay more, their lender will have an appraisal completed on the property, and if it doesn’t appraise at least at contract value, the buyer can decide to pay the difference out of pocket or walk away.  Buyers today will not overpay for a property.

Not Having the House Ready to Go on the Market, and Not Making Repairs

Sellers should wait to put their house on the market until it is ready for buyers.  The buyers will see the unfinished projects and be turned off.  Buyers are typically looking for a home bigger or nicer than the one they have, and usually, don’t want other people’s projects.

When buyers are relocating from out of town, they are typically looking for a move-in ready home.

They know the moving van will pull up to the house and they need to be able to move in without trying to complete house projects.  Not all buyers have extra cash to make repairs.  The National Association Of Realtors (NAR) tells us that buyers typically thin a repair costs three times the actual costs.

So a buyer looking a  $100 repair to a door actually sees $300 of needed repairs.  Also, buyers moving to an area may not have any insight on where to find handymen or other repair folks.  Also, houses with many repairs tell the buyer the home has not been well maintained.  They will wonder what they CAN’t see that may also need to be fixed.

Can I Refuse to Make Buyer Requested Repairs After a Home Inspection?

Buyers in Arizona typically have a home inspection.  Most buyers will ask for items that are safety-related, for example, plumbing or electrical issues.  They may also ask for roof repairs, such as broken tiles or mortar caps.  We typically don’t see buyers asking for cosmetic items, such as painting a different color or replacing something that isn’t broken

A seller should look at the list and work with their real estate agent to identify those items the seller is willing to repair or get estimates.  Sometimes the list may be long, but inexpensive to fix.  They may be things a handyman could fix in a few hours.15 Mistakes Sellers Make

Often sellers get their feelings hurt when they see the list of repairs. Sellers who get a pre-listing home inspection can avoid many items that show up on an inspection report. Do you really want the deal to fall apart for a few hundred dollars?  Another option may be to offer a buyer credit towards their closing costs in lieu of making the repairs.

Do I Need to Remove my Pets? 

Sellers who have followed all their listing agents advise are now ready for buyers to come through the front door. You have great curb appeal, you have decluttered and removed excess furniture.

Now give some thought to the buyer experience.  For showings, be sure to turn on all the lights, open all the blinds, if summer, turn on all the ceiling fans.  Remove pets from the house.  You don’t want a cat to dog escaping!  Buyers do not want to walk through your house with dogs barking (even if kenneled).  It is difficult for buyers to picture themselves living in a house with the distraction of dogs barking.

15 Mistakes Sellers Make

15 Mistakes Sellers make when a buyer is looking at a house.  Put away pet toys, litter boxes, and food dishes.  Not all buyers have pets, so seeing your animals toys and dishes may be a turn-off.  Be sure there are no lingering pet odors.  Again, not all buyers have pets, and if they don’t have pets, they will quickly pick up on pet odors.

Easy accessibility

Sellers should make their house easily accessible to buyers.  When sellers limit showings, they miss buyers.  The more your house is shown, the more likely you are to find a buyer. When buyers are in from out of town, they may have only a few days to look for a house.

A seller who can not accommodate the buyer schedule will lose out on a potential buyer.  Some buyers are available after work or on weekends, and again sellers who want to sell their house need to be accommodating to buyer schedules.

Ensure proper disclosure

In Arizona, sellers are required to disclose any material facts about their property.  A material fact is one that may influence a buyer’s decision to purchase the house or the amount of money they would offer.  Also, sellers need to disclose what they know about the property.  Often we see investors noting they “have never lived in a property”.

The question for seller disclosures in Arizona is what do you know about the property.  If you have owned property, even a rental, you have knowledge about repairs to the property.  Since sellers need to disclose that they know, this would include anything a previous seller disclosed to them.

Know Your Moving Plans When You Put The House on the Market

A buyer will offer the seller a purchase contract in Arizona that includes a closing date.  In Arizona, the closing date is the date the property legally is transferred from the seller to the buyer.  That is also the date when the buyer gets possession of the home.15 Mistakes Sellers Make

As a seller, if the closing date for your property is the 10th, you need to be completely out of the property on the 9th.  We typically do not get an exact time when the sale will record with the county.

The house sale with the county could be first thing in the morning, hence the seller needs to be completely out the day prior.  Aso, this also includes having the house clean and empty, for the new owner.

When does my moving truck arrive?

As a seller, knowing where you are moving to will help you decide what to pack, what to give away, and what to discard.  Think carefully about everything in your house.  You don’t want to pay to pack and move items you are not going to use.

Sellers who are well prepared and have the right real estate agent will sail through this process!  Listen to the experts.  A person who sold their last house 10 years ago doesn’t have the same experience and expertise as a full-time real estate agent.  With planning and patience, sellers can be moving on to their next home with a minimal amount of stress and frustration!

What Are Closing Costs When Selling A Home in Phoenix?

Selling a house is not an easy task even in the best of markets.  Some closing costs can be negotiated between the buyer and seller and some can not. In Arizona, some title companies “bundle” their fees within their fees into one lump sum, while others identify each charge individually.

Keep in mind that a buyer may ask the seller to contribute towards buyer closing costs. This may be a dollar amount or a percentage of the sales price.  Sellers should understand their closing costs plus any additional seller concessions they agreed to when anticipating their net proceeds.

When selling a home in the Phoenix area, be sure to hire a great Real Estate Agent to help you get the most money for your home.  Not all agents are created equally!  Be sure you understand how to get your home ready to sell!

What are Average Closing Costs for Sellers?   

Seller closing costs typically are about 1% of the sales price.   Seller fees typically consist of title and escrow fees, commissions, unpaid taxes, HOA disclosure and transfer fees, and buyer’s title insurance policy.

What are Examples of Seller Closing Costs?  Here are some sample fees based on the sale of a $275,000 home in the Phoenix area. Costs will vary depending on the fees charged by a Home Owner’s Association (HOA).  Additionally, the seller’s loan payoff (if any) will vary by seller.

 

When a home is sold, there are closing costs associated with the sale.  Seller Closing costs will be charged whether you use a Real Estate Agent or sell the house yourself.

What are Real Estate Agent Fees for Sellers?

This is the fee a Real Estate Agent will charge to sell your home.  These fees are negotiable.  Keep in mind the agent with the lowest commission fee may not get you the most money for selling your home.  To sell a home for the most amount of money, your house first needs to be in great selling condition.

You want an experienced agent who will provide recommendations to get your house ready to sell.  You want someone who will be honest with you about the condition of your house.

Sellers want an agent experienced in negotiation.  Your agent will need to negotiate with the buyer’s agent. There are three key negotiating components to negotiate on a house sale.  First, the agent needs to be able to negotiate with the buyer’s agent about price, closing date, or any other key items in the initial purchase contract.

Once the buyer completes a home inspection, there may a request for the seller to make repairs.  This is, in fact, more negotiation.  In addition, there may be negotiation needed regarding an appraisal if there are appraisal issues where the appraisal is below the contract price.

More Negotiations

Some discount brokerages may quote a lower fee than other brokerages.  Be sure to ask about ALL fees to be sure you are making a valid comparison.   There is a new trend for real estate companies to buy a house directly from the owner for a quick close.

This may work for some homeowners, however, you likely are receiving less money for your home than you would if you listed with an experienced Real Estate Agent.  You typically get the most money for your house when it is exposed to multiple buyers through the multiple listing system and effective marketing.

Owner’s Title Policy

This is a title insurance policy that a seller buyers for the home buyer. This policy guarantees the buyer clear title to the house.  If, for example, a year after the sale, someone contacts the buyer and claims rights to the house.  If he/she can prove legal ownership of the property, that second owner may be due proceeds from the sale.selling house with realtor

Why is this important? There could be many reasons why someone would put a lien on a property.  The buyer of the property needs to know there are no liens on the property that could affect their ownership.  The title company will complete research to identify any lien on the property so that the lienholder is paid from the proceeds of the house.

Or, if the lien exceeds the proceeds of the property,  and the seller is unable to bring more funds to close on the property, the buyer can cancel the transaction and receive a full refund of the earnest money.  There are various types of property liens, such as a  mortgage lien, and IRS lien, a mechanics lien (for work performed on the property but not paid for).

The cost of the title insurance policy varies but is calculated based on the value of the property. A title company can quote a specific amount once given the sales price.

Who pays for Escrow Fees? Buyer or Seller?

In Arizona, we use a Title or Escrow company as a neutral third-party to handle the sale of a property.  Typically, the Seller will pay for a Title policy for the Buyer. And, if the Buyer is getting a loan, the buyer will buy a Title policy for their Lender.

The title company will conduct the title search, get fees due from a Home Owner’s Association (HOA), make sure the HOA is paid monies due from the seller at closing.  They also ask the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CCRs) from the HOA and ensure the information is sent to the buyers.

The title company will also hold the earnest money, receive funds from the buyer, and distribute funds to the seller.  Seller’s pay their own escrow fees and buyers pay their escrow fees.

Seller Loan Payoff

The title company will provide a form to the seller to sign which authorizes the title company to contact the lender on behalf of the seller.

Keller Mortgage – Save Thousands of Dollars on your home purchase

The lender will provide the complete pay off up to the date of the scheduled closing of the transaction. At the closing, the title company will wire full pay off to the lender, on behalf of the buyer.

What are other Lender Fees?

Lenders charge a variety of fees to buyers when giving a loan on a property.  These fees can include Administrative fees, Documentation Preparation fees, Processing fee, and Appraisal fee and Credit Reporting fees.  Check with your lender to get the complete list of their Lender fees.

Home Warranty for Sellers

When the seller has agreed to purchase a home warranty for the buyer, the title company will send payment to the home warranty company at closing.  Typically in Arizona, the home warranty is an item on the purchase contract and negotiated between the buyer and seller.

The amount the seller will pay for the home warranty can also be negotiated. closing costs in phoenix The home warranty will cover many household items, such as the AC / Heating system, water heater, some plumbing items, appliances, and more.  This is typically a one year warranty with a co-pay due when the service representative visits the house.

Home Owner Transfer Fee

Many HOAs will charge a fee for transferring the name on a property from the seller to the buyer.  This can be paid by the buyer, seller or split between the two.  This too is part of the purchase contract HOA Addendum and is negotiated at the time a purchase offer is made.

Seller Disclosure Fees

Sellers in Arizona will pay a fee to provide the buyer the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CCRs).  The CCRs are the rules for the community.  By purchasing a home within a Home Owner Association (HOA),  the home buyer is agreeing to abide by the community rules. Additionally, these  CCR’s are provided to the buyer after escrow has been opened.

Once the escrow is opened, the title company sends the notification to the HOA that the property is now under contract and there will be a new homeowner.   In Arizona, a buyer has five days after receipt of the CCRs to cancel the contract if there are restrictions the buyer cannot live with.  These are typically provided to the buyer in a paper, electronically, or even in a CD format.  Arizona state law requires the seller to provide the CCRs of the community and the seller must pay for the CCR’s.

Outstanding HOA Dues 

If a seller is behind on HOA dues, these will be collected at the time of the sale of the property.  Also, many HOAs have someone drive by the property once it is under contract to look for any violations of the CCRs. This type of violation could include too many weeds in a yard, a fence or gate in disrepair, etc.

Additionally, the HOA is looking for anything that puts the seller in violation of the CCRs. These items need to be resolved prior to the sale.  If the property owner has an outstanding fine from previous violations, this would need to be paid as well.

Courier Fees 

Fees charged to send the loan payoff back to a lender, loan documents from the lender to the title company, etc. It is paid at closing.

When are Closing Costs paid?

Closing costs are paid when the Buyer signs all final closing documents. Typically, a few days prior to the actual closing date.

Who Pays capital Improvement Fees?

Some HOAs charge Capital improvement fees.  These fees add to the HOA coffers to help with capital improvements, such as pool maintenance, exterior maintenance, new roofs, roads, etc.  This is a fee that can be paid for by the buyer or seller but traditionally paid for by the buyer since the buyer will benefit from the upcoming improvements.  This fee is in addition to any homeowner monthly fees or transfer fees.

?️ How to Stage A Bedroom to Sell Your House Fast

Why is a master bedroom a major selling feature in a home?  Because buyers are buying the dream.  All buyers want a roomy master bedroom in neutral and tranquil colors.  No one wants to see clutter and odd furniture.  Buyers want to see a welcoming room like one might see in a hotel.   After a kitchen and bathroom, the master bedroom is a top consideration for many home buyers.  What are buyers looking for in a master bedroom?  They are looking for a relaxing and tranquil space to unwind at the end of the day.

Additionally, they are looking for neutral colors, a room that is decluttered and appears like a master suite!  Buyers don’t want to see stacks of papers on the nightstand.  They want to see attractive bedding and window coverings.  They want to see bedroom furniture, a bed, nightstands, and attractive lamps and a dresser or two.

What to do with Bedroom Furniture

Buyers expect to see appropriate furniture in a master bedroom.  Because a buyer is looking for a master suite, they expect a comfortable bed, nightstands, and dressers that fit the room size.  Therefore, because buyers want to see bedroom furniture in a bedroom, you must remove the desk, extra chairs, and clutter. Even though sellers are not leaving furniture behind, buyers need to picture themselves living in his room and enjoying the “vision” of what it could be!

stage a bedroom

When you stage a bedroom clear off all dressers. If the dresser top is not in good condition, consider a table runner for the top.  Add a nice piece of pottery, a plant or fresh flowers.  Nightstands should have a lamp, perhaps a clock and a book or magazine.  Remove stacks of books or magazines

What do I do About The Bedding

If you don’t have fresh and matching bedding, consider splurging on a great comforter and a number of pillows so the master bedroom looks like a 5-star hotel. Buyers want to see attractive bedding (even if their’s isn’t).   Because extra pillows on a bed look inviting, add several.  Hotels do this to make the bedroom inviting. Buyers want to see the hotel look, uncluttered, and roomy.  Maybe they don’t have a bedroom that looks like this today. However, they do want to have a 5-star bedroom.

Many pillows on a bed communicate luxury and comfort.  Buyers love to see a master bedroom that looks like a 5-star hotel.  They also want all the furniture to “fit” the room.  No extra chairs or tables, no desks or stacks of papers or magazines, just a retreat to come at the end of the day.  Think of walking into a luxury hotel.  What do you see on the bed?  Many pillows!

What should I do with Window Coverings

Buyers want to see nice window coverings they can open or close as needed.  Windows need to be cleaned and sparkling.  If there are sliders to the patio area, the door track needs to be sparkling clean, free of dirt, and pet hair.  If you have heavy window coverings, consider removing them in favor of sparkling blinds.

 Ceiling Fans and Fixtures

stage a bedroom

Be sure to clean your ceiling fans.  Buyers typically look up and dust is a big turn off.  All lamps should have the brightest light bulbs recommended by the lamp manufacturer.  Be sure all light bulbs are in working order.  If home inspectors find a light will not turn on, they typically write this up as an issue.  Since they can’t determine whether the light is burned out or there is a problem with the light itself, this will be noted in the inspection report. Don’t let the buyer wonder if the light bulb is burned out or the light fixture is broken.  If your lampshades are tired and warn, find new lampshades with a classic style and a pop of color.

 

Neutral Paint

While you may like bright colors throughout your house, including the master bedroom, consider repainting in a neutral color.  Buyers need to see neutral colors as they enter the room.   A master suite will appeal to more buyers in neutral tones.  Painting is an inexpensive way to update and freshen the master bedroom.

stage a bedroom

stage a bedroom

The artwork on the Walls

The artwork on the walls should be neutral and not controversial.  Artwork should blend in with the neutral paint and should accentuate the overall feeling of the room.  Again, the seller isn’t leaving the artwork behind, buy buyers can see how a particular piece of art lends itself to a relaxing retreat.

How do I stage a Master Closet

Master closets need to be decluttered and well organized.   And, since you are moving,  take this opportunity to clean out clothes you haven’t worn for a long time.  Remove shoes you aren’t wearing anymore or that are worn.  Look at any shelves in the closet and be sure anything arranged on the shelf is uncluttered. Either donate unneeded clothes or put in storage bins in a storage locker.

If you have a cramped closet, buyers will think this house doesn’t have enough storage. And if you don’t have enough storage, neither will the prospective home buyer!  Have you ever looked at a master closet in a model home?  You typically see nice hat boxes on shelves. Be sure to dust the room, especially any open shelves.  All hangers should be hung in the same direction.  And some people arrange their clothes by type and color.  This shows the buyer you are very organized and have attention to detail.  This can translate into an image of a seller who takes great care of their home and the maintenance needed.

Windows and Doors

Be sure the doors and windows are spotless.  Buyers should be able to see out the bedroom windows.  Often, the master bedroom is in the back of the house with a nice view of the yard and /or pool area.  Be sure buyers can appreciate the view out the window or door when they enter the room.  Replace heavy curtains with blinds and sheer curtains. Because you want the buyers to see outside, be sure the blinds are open and the view is visible.

 

stage a bedroom

stage a bedroom

TVs in Bedrooms

Many people have TVs in the bedroom.  Rooms show best when the TV is a flat-screen on the wall.  If the TV is not on the wall, consider placing it in a cabinet or otherwise hide it.  While we all know people have TVs in the bedroom, a hidden TV adds to the feeling that a bedroom is a place to get away and relax.  Put any remote controls in a basket on a dresser or somewhere out of sight.

Doors to the Bedroom

If you have double doors into the Master bedroom, consider leaving both doors open to welcome the buyer.  While everyone knows you can always close the doors, the open doors are welcoming to your visitors.

A well-staged master bedroom can be an influencing factor in the buyer’s home buying decision.  While kitchens and bathrooms are a focal point, the right master suite is high on the list of buyer needs and wants. Remember, buyers, see how you live in your house and try to picture themselves living there as well.  A well-staged master suite invites the buyer to enter at the end of the day and relax.  Whether a buyer retires to the master suite to watch TV or read a book, the room needs to look inviting.  While buyers know you are not leaving your furniture and pillows, they envision themselves in a room they decorate in a similar fashion.

?  How to Stage a Bathroom To Sell A House

We know buyers are very picky about bathrooms, so it is important to know how to stage a bathroom to sell a house fast.  How do you make your bathroom inviting for buyers? What do you need to do to catch the eye of a buyer and ensure they remember your inviting and spa-like bathroom?  See the suggestions below!

Clean and Declutter

know that bathrooms and kitchens sell homes.  How do you get a bathroom ready for sale?  Clean, clean, clean, Declutter, declutter, and declutter.  How can buyers visualize themselves or their guests living in your home unless it is sparkling clean and well-staged, and depersonalized?  How do you give your bathroom that welcoming  “spa” look?

First, remove everything from the countertops, including make-up, hairdryer, curling iron, combs, and brushes.  Place the items in a basket and place them under the sink.  This helps you get the items out when you need them but easily put away after use.  stage a bathroom

Next, clean out the medicine cabinet.  Throw out any empty or outdated bottles.  Buyers want to know there is enough space in the medicine cabinets and under the cabinets. Wipe off the shelves.

If your items in the medicine cabinets are stuffed in, buyers will think there won’t be enough room for their items either!  Remove any prescription bottles in the medicine cabinet and tuck them away.

Bathtub and ShowerCheck out the tub or shower and be sure the tub is sparkling clean and all grout is clean and fresh.  Do you need a new shower curtain?  Is your shower liner clean and mildew free?  Do you need to buy a more neutral shower curtain?  And don’t forget to clean the grout and eliminate any appearance of mildew. If needed, regrout the tub and shower.  However, since you are selling your house, and not your shampoos and conditioners, remove these from the shower and tub.  Again, place these items in a basket so you can get them out when needed and store away after use.

Check out the faucets and be sure there is no dripping.  And consider updating the faucets if needed.  Take a look at your drains and be sure water drains normally.  Keep in mind that your buyers will have a home inspection and the inspector will be checking on how the drains work.  In the shower or tub be sure the soap dish is clean and free of clumps of old soap.  Place a clean bar of soap in the soap dish.

Paint in Neutral Colors.  Does the room need a fresh coat of paint?  Consider painting the room with a light neutral color.  And remember, the house you live in is not the house you put on the market.  The red and purple you love may not appeal to buyers.  While it is easy to paint a bathroom, seeing a color they don’t like screams “work” to buyers.  Fill in any nail holes and repaint the bathroom in a fresh neutral color.  Don’t forget the woodwork and door, as well as door frames.

Towels and Linen ClosetsDo you have a linen closet?  If so, be sure the towels are stacked nicely and there appears to be enough room for all towels and linens. You want to stage a bathroom to sell a house by making it feel spacious, light, and bright.  Since you are moving, if you have extras, place items in tubs and move to the garage or better yet, a storage locker.

Let buyers see there is plenty of storage space. If you don’t have great fluffy towels, consider purchasing a matching set of white towels to hang up.  Ever wonder how to fold your towels so your bathroom looks like a spa?  Check the video at the top.

Bathroom StorageLook under the sink in the vanity.  Again, declutter and let a buyer see how much room you have under the sink.   Rugs on the floor?  Then remove them so the room looks bigger.  Buyers should be able to see amble storage space.  Again, if you are short of space, they will believe they will be too!

ToiletRemove the toilet cleaning brush,  plunger, and wastebasket from the floor.  Leave nothing on the floor.  Be sure to place the toilet lid is down for any house showings.  We all know what a toilet is for, but we don’t need to see inside!  If you have any toilet lid covers be sure to remove them for a clean fresh look.

Bathroom WindowsCheck out your bathroom windows and be sure the blinds are dust-free.  If you have curtains on the windows with blinds, consider removing the curtains for a fresh clean look. A window with just blinds makes a room look larger.  Be sure the windows are clean inside and out!

Bathroom Hardware and Lights lifeHow are your towel bars?  And do you need to replace them?  This is a very inexpensive fix but can help buyers see a fresh room.

How is your bathroom mirror?   If you have the traditional large mirror which spans both master bedroom sinks, you can frame this mirror, which updates the look of the room.  You can choose to remove this large mirror and replace it with matching twin mirrors to place over each sink.

How are the lights in the bathroom?  New lights can be inexpensive and go a long way to saying “Updated” to potential buyers.  These are easy to replace, either as a DIY  or hiring a handyman or electrician to replace the lights you have purchased.

Putting the Room Back TogetherNow that you have painted and cleaned the bathroom you are ready to add back a few items.  You are going to add new fresh towels to your new towel bars.

What should you put on the counters?  Consider an attractive soap container and a flowering plant,    On the tub, you can add a loofah sponge a folded shower rug, and an attractive bottle of shampoo.  Add a few candles to convey to a buyer that your bathroom is spa-like and a welcoming place to relax.

stage a bathroom

 

Don’t forget to check out your light bulbs.  Be sure your light bulbs are not dusty. When staging your home for sale, I recommend the brightest bulbs safely possible. Be sure all light bulbs are working!  You want the room as light and bright as possible.

Double-check the mirror and be sure it is streak-free!  What is the best way to clean a mirror?  Start with a flat-weave microfiber cloth. Next, use a good quality glass cleaner or make your own with white vinegar and water (mix a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water)

Often wood cupboards in a bathroom get dried out or have water stains.  If the wood is in good condition, use quality wood polish on the cabinets and doors.  This freshens up the wood and adds a nice shine.

Be sure to remove any excess polish so the cabinets are not slippery when opening.  What if the cabinets are showing their age?  Consider painting them for a fresh look and adding hardware.

What about air Fresheners?

Often sellers want to have the bathroom smelling fresh and use an air freshener.  Be careful with air fresheners.  A potential buyer may think you are hiding a bad smell.  If you do want to use an air freshener, try a light citrus scent.  This has a clean order and is less objectionable to most people.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Retailing by Eric Spangenberg, now the dean of the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California-Irvine, found shoppers spent an average of 31.8 percent more money in a home decor store when it was scented with a simple orange scent, rather than a blend of scents.

How to Make The Room More Inviting

Look for any worn fixures or drippy faucets and get them repaired or replaced.  Buyers will notice even a minor drip in a faucet.  Also, check under the cabinet to ensure you have no active drips.  When a buyer sees an active drip, it shouts the owner is not maintaining the house.  Any dripping or leaking faucet will show up on a home inspection report, and the buyer will likely ask you to fix the leak.  Why not just fix it now?

Check your drains and be sure they are unclogged and drain well.  Buyers will certainly get a home inspection.  And the home inspectors note how well the drains work.

What else can you do to make the bathroom more inviting?  Take the spa concept a bit further and hang up a fluffy white robe.  Slip the robe on a nice padded hanger, just like you might see at a nice spa.  Place a nice stack of folded towels on a bamboo tray and set this on the side of the tub.

Don’t forget to place a fresh roll of toilet paper on the roll.  Fold the end of the paper into a point like you see at hotels.  This is a small thing, but leaves an impression on the buyer as they look into the room, see fresh fluffy white towels and a white robe.  The whole room conveys to a buyer that when they buy your house, they too can have a spa-like and welcoming bathroom.  Repeat this will all bathrooms (unless you have a bathroom specifically for children).

? How to Stage a Dining Room

When buyers walk into your home, they are not only looking at the house features, they see your furniture and how you live. Buyers expect to see a kitchen that looks like a kitchen, a living room that looks like a living room.  Also, buyers expect to see a dining room looking like a dining room!

Dining Room Table

The dining room table is usually the focal point of the room. If your chair cushions are soiled or frayed, consider recovering them or finding complementing chairs.  The table and chairs do not need to match but should complement each other.  Leave a maximum of six chairs around the table.  Don’t add all eight of your chairs to the table to show how many people the table seats.  More than six chairs and the room looks crowded.

dining room table and 6 chairs set with dishes

 

If you have several chairs, consider just keeping a few around the table.  Note the interesting arrangement of the picture at the left.   Instead of a chair on either end, three chairs are lined up on either side to encourage conversation.  Help buyers see themselves entertaining friends and family in your dining room!

Light Fixtures

Do your light fixtures need to be updated? Most dining rooms have a large light or chandelier over the table.  Consider updating the lighting if your fixtures are dated.  There are inexpensive options at Home Depot or Lowes.  In any event, be sure to use high wattage bulbs,  and all bulbs work  Also, be sure is it sparkling clean.  Be sure the wall switches are clean and in good repair. Replace any cracked or damaged electrical plates or switches.  If your room needs more light, consider an interesting lamp on a sideboard or side table.

China Cabinet

If you have a china cabinet in your dining room, be sure the inside is dusted as well as the outside.  Minimize the dishes you have inside the cabinet.  The display should be organized and minimal.  Remember,  you are moving, so starting to declutter inside of a china cabinet is a good way to get started!  The dishes you display when staging your dining room should match set or perhaps some attractive pottery pieces.

A Dining Room or an Office?

If you have been using your dining room as a home office, consider returning the room to a dining room while your home is on the market.  Buyers are confused by pool tables and desks in a dining room.  Again, you want buyers to see themselves entertaining and enjoying your house.  If you are using your dining room for an office, a buyer may think there isn’t enough room in the house for an office area.  Again, this gives the impression the house may be too small for them also!

Can I Rent Furniture?

If you don’t have dining room furniture or if yours is worn or damaged, consider buying a set a Goodwill or a second-hand store.  Or, another option would be to rent dining room furniture. this can be done through a furniture rental company or a staging company. It is important for buyers to see rooms set up and they would use them, so a dining room should look like a dining room.

Should a Dining Room Have A Rug?

Depending on the size of the room, adding a run under the table can draw the room together and add color to the room. If you have a small dining room, you may be better to skip the rug and seeing all solid flooring makes the room look larger. If you choose to add a rug, be sure you have at least 24 inches of extra room on all sides of the dining table.  You don’t want guests to trip when pulling out the chairs.

Add Artwork to the Wall to Stage a Dining Room

stage a dining room to sell

Stage a dining room to sell!  Don’t forget to add tasteful artwork to the room.  Be sure your art selection is neutral in appearance.  Find a wall area and use a single piece of art or combine a tasteful grouping of pictures (not family). Because you may have a small dining room, a mirror will reflect light and make the room look bigger.  You don’t need to have art on every wall.  Less is more!  When there is or pictures on all the walls, it can make the room look smaller.

Should You Paint Your Dining Room?

Your dining room should be neutral and inviting.  Light and neutral colors will make the room look bigger.  If you have dark walls, definitely paint them.  Remember, the house you live in is not the house you put on the market.  Perhaps the deep burgundy walls go nicely with your table settings and drapery, but you are moving, so pack up and go neutral!  When you choose to paint the room, this is a great opportunity to remove nails in the wall and fill in the holes. It is very distracting for buyers to see holes in the wall.  This screams WORK to a buyer.

How Should I Stage my Windows?

Your windows should allow in as much light as possible.  If you have heavy and dark drapes, consider removing them or replacing them with lighter ones.  Be sure the windows and sparkling clean and window sills are dust and fly free!

Leave Off the Table Cloth When Staging a Dining Room

Unless you need to hide a less than perfect dining room table, leave the table cloth off. You want the room to look light and bright.  A table cloth can add weight to the room.  If you must use a table cloth, choose something light and neutral.  Or consider a table runner down the middle of the table.

stage a dining room

Should I Set the Dining Room TableYou can either set the table to look inviting or add a bouquet of flowers.  Another option is to use a table runner and a bouquet of flowers. Either option is fine as you want your buyers to find the room welcoming.  Because you want the buyers to picture themselves and their family enjoying the room, either option will work.

Should I use Doilies when I Stage a Dining room?Definitely not!  Doilies will date a room and distract a buyer.  Best to leave tables uncovered or use a table runner.

What Should I Avoid When Staging a Dining Room?

When staging a dining room, avoid plastic or silk flowers and plants.  Because buyers will immediately recognize these are fake, they may wonder what else is fake in the house! Avoid having any furniture extending into doorways or over windows. Be sure all rooms are staged for their intended purpose. A dining room is not a bedroom, a toy room, or an office.  Avoid anything potentially creepy, such as bizarre lamps, dolls, or animal heads.

Buyers expect to see a table and chairs in a dining room, along with a china cabinet. Buyers are easily distracted, so be sure your dining room conveys warms and an invitation to entertain and enjoy family and friends.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money in a dining room.  Remember you are moving, so starting to pack up extra dishes, pictures, or items cluttering your dining room is a great way to being the moving process.

?‍? Should A Seller Get A Home Inspection

We know buyers typically get a home inspection but does a seller need to get a home inspection also? The short answer is yes.  A seller may think the house is in great shape, and it may be.  However, when was the last time you had the roof checked, crawled through the attic? Since you know the buyer will get an inspection, a seller should also. Sellers then can find and repair items that will typically show up on the inspection report.

What is the Cost of a Home Inspection

The cost of a home inspection usually varies depending on the size of the house.  Some inspectors charge more for older homes as they usually take longer to inspect.  Also, some Home Inspectors in Arizona will complete a pool inspection. Some will inspect the yard watering system.  Be sure to ask what the inspection fee covers.  Also, you should receive a written report from the home inspector.  This report should contain a summary of the inspection, which identifies issues of particular concern.  The home inspector should be willing to walk you around the house at the end of the inspection so you can have an understanding of the issues found.

Why Should I Have a Home Inspection?

Sellers need to be aware of any problems with the property that could cause a buyer to ask for repairs or credit in lieu of repairs. Sometimes buyers find the inspection report so full of issues they will cancel the contract and get their earnest money back.  First-time buyers especially may be overwhelmed with a long list of issues, even though many are minor.

The items on the list may be inexpensive to repair, but sometimes the sheer number of items will scare buyers.

There are times when sellers find there are repair items they are not expecting.  It can take time to find someone to come to the house, give an estimate and schedule the repair.  In Arizona, if you have an executed Purchase contract, a seller has five days after receiving a repair request to respond.

The seller can either agree to make all repairs or decline to make any repairs.  Also, the seller can pick and choose which repairs they are willing to make.  When sellers get an inspection before the property goes on the market, they have time to get estimates and schedule repairs as they please.

Why Should the Roof Be Inspected?

No matter how meticulous a homeowner may be, there are areas of the home that we rarely see.  A roof is one of these places.  In Arizona,  we rarely see a roof close up.  An inspection can turn up broken or cracked roof tiles.  Also, it is not unusual to have broken mortar caps.  When there are trees next to the house, there may be an accumulation of debris on the roof  If not removed, the debris could cause rainwater (in those few rain storms we get) to back up under the tiles.  This moisture could cause roof leaks. Often, the first time a homeowner is aware of any roof problems is during a rainstorm!

Do I Need a Termite Inspection before my House Goes On The Market?

Buyers will usually have a termite inspection when purchasing a home in the Phoenix metro area.  There is a saying here, that either a house HAS termites or WILL have termites.  We live in a desert.  We have subterranean termites.  These termites live in the ground and are rather slow-moving. These are easily treated.  Many homeowners have monthly pest control service to end the termite issue.  Termites do come back after treatment.  Most companies that treat for termites provide a one year warranty.  So yes, get a termite inspection before putting your home on the market.  Buyers coming from the midwest and east coast know termites in those areas are very aggressive.  These buyers are often alarmed by the termite inspection showing active termites.

Do I have to Fix Everything on the Home Inspection?

It is up to a seller to decide what inspection items to repair prior to putting the house on the market, what you repair is up to you.  It would be wise to address any electrical or plumbing issues that are sure to come up in a buyer’s inspection report.  Many buyers consider these safety issues and will most likely ask for them to be repaired, even if minor items.  You can fix minor items yourself, hire a handyman or a plumber or electrician.  Often when buyers ask for electrical repairs. They may request the work be done by an electrician and not the homeowner or a handyman.  The same for plumbing repairs. Buyers typically ask for licensed trades to complete repairs.

A seller would naturally want to fix a leaking roof.  The sellers will continue to live in the house until the completion of the sale, perhaps a few months.  If you have water damage from rain, you could be faced with damage to the interior of your house.

Fix the items that would be most concerning to a buyer.  Also, complete inexpensive items.  You don’t want the buyer’s inspector to issue a laundry list of items. If there are too many issues, the buyer may decide not to purchase your house.

More than likely, the same items your inspector found will be the same ones the buyers will find.  In Arizona, home inspectors are required to be licensed by the state.  Now justs having a license doesn’t ensure you have a great inspector. However, there is some comfort in knowing they have met certain requirements.

Do I have to Disclose Everything on the Home Inspection?

In  Arizona, the Seller Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS) is 8 pages of questions about WHAT you know about the house.  Arizona law strongly recommends sellers disclose what they know about a property.  The SPDS asks if you are “aware” of certain repairs.  If you have a home inspection and make repairs, then disclosure that the faucet leaked and you had it repaired.  Disclosure the water heater leaked and you had it repaired/ replaced.  A home inspector can typically see where repairs were made and will note this in the report. It doesn’t matter whether the repair was on the roof, in the attic or under a sink. Better to disclose an item to a buyer and note the repairs were completed.

Do I Have to Give my Inspection Report to the Buyer

Check your state law.  In Arizona, sellers are not required to give the report to the buyer.  However, they are required to disclose what they know about the property.  Think of an inspection report as only a report of a POINT IN TIME.  Just think about it.  The report only covers the condition of the house the day it was inspected.  What if a month later, a problem develops, such as a leak or electrical issue?  The seller’s inspection report is intended to show sellers things in the home that could be malfunctioning.  For example, often there is an outlet in the garage that doesn’t work.  The sellers didn’t know this because the plug is in an area they don’t use and do not have a reason to plug anything in.  Perhaps a GFCI in the kitchen doesn’t work, the seller may not be aware of this.

In Arizona, per the residential purchase contract, buyers are required to provide a seller a copy of an inspection report.

Is everything Bad On An Inspection Report?

Some items on an inspection report are informational only.  In Arizona, sellers are not required to bring a house up to code when they sell it.  However, if certain remodeling is done, the seller may have to bring that portion of the remodel up to code.  Homeowners remodeling will want to use a licenses contract who will do a quality job, but ensure all necessary permits are obtained and that work meets current code requirements.

Check on Your Building CodesAlso,  a house built in 1950, in its original configuration is not required to be brought up to today’s code.  A home inspector may tell a buyer that while the house meets code for when it was built, today’s codes are different.  Building codes often change as we have better products and information.  Sometimes there are better options and the inspector makes the buyer aware of this.  Inspectors provide this information to educate the buyer, not to frighten them away.

So there is definitely a benefit for a seller to get a home inspection before putting the house on the market.  Sellers can make repairs of items certain to show up on a buyer’s inspection. Also, sellers can get estimates for the repairs without being under the time presser a typical is when they must respond to a repair request within five days.  Most home inspections turn up minor things the seller wasn’t even aware of which may be easy to fix.  To avoid a buyer being overwhelmed by a long list of minor repairs, be proactive, and get a presale inspection.

?️ How to Stage a Dining Room

When buyers walk into your home, they are not only looking at the house features, they see your furniture and how you live. Buyers expect to see a kitchen that looks like a kitchen, a living room that looks like a living room.  Also, buyers expect to see a dining room looking like a dining room!

Dining Room TableThe dining room table is usually the focal point of the room. If your chair cushions are soiled or frayed, consider recovering them or finding complementing chairs.  The table and chairs do not need to match but should complement each other.  Leave a maximum of six chairs around the table.  Don’t add all eight of your chairs to the table to show how many people the table seats.  More than six chairs and the room looks crowded.

dining room table and 6 chairs set with dishes

 

If you have several chairs, consider just keeping a few around the table.  Note the interesting arrangement of the picture at the left.   Instead of a chair on either end, three chairs are lined up on either side to encourage conversation.  Help buyers see themselves entertaining friends and family in your dining room!

Light FixturesDo your light fixtures need to be updated? Most dining rooms have a large light or chandelier over the table.  Consider updating the lighting if your fixtures are dated.  There are inexpensive options at Home Depot or Lowes.  In any event, be sure to use high wattage bulbs,  and all bulbs work  Also, be sure is it sparkling clean.  Be sure the wall switches are clean and in good repair. Replace any cracked or damaged electrical plates or switches.  If your room needs more light, consider an interesting lamp on a sideboard or side table.

China CabinetIf you have a china cabinet in your dining room, be sure the inside is dusted as well as the outside.  Minimize the dishes you have inside the cabinet.  The display should be organized and minimal.  Remember,  you are moving, so starting to declutter inside of a china cabinet is a good way to get started!  The dishes you display when staging your dining room should match set or perhaps some attractive pottery pieces.

A Dining Room or an Office?If you have been using your dining room as a home office, consider returning the room to a dining room while your home is on the market.  Buyers are confused by pool tables and desks in a dining room.  Again, you want buyers to see themselves entertaining and enjoying your house.  If you are using your dining room for an office, a buyer may think there isn’t enough room in the house for an office area.  Again, this gives the impression the house may be too small for them also!

Can I Rent Furniture?If you don’t have dining room furniture or if yours is worn or damaged, consider buying a set a Goodwill or a second-hand store.  Or, another option would be to rent dining room furniture. this can be done through a furniture rental company or a staging company. It is important for buyers to see rooms set up and they would use them, so a dining room should look like a dining room.

Should a Dining Room Have A Rug?

Depending on the size of the room, adding a run under the table can draw the room together and add color to the room. If you have a small dining room, you may be better to skip the rug and seeing all solid flooring makes the room look larger. If you choose to add a rug, be sure you have at least 24 inches of extra room on all sides of the dining table.  You don’t want guests to trip when pulling out the chairs.

Add Artwork to the Wall to Stage a Dining Room

stage a dining room to sell
stage a dining room to sell

Don’t forget to add tasteful artwork to the room.  Find a wall area and use a single piece of art or combine a tasteful grouping of pictures (not family). Because you may have a small dining room, a mirror will reflect light and make the room look bigger.  You don’t need to have art on every wall.  Less is more!  When there is or pictures on all the walls, it can make the room look smaller.

Should You Paint Your Dining Room?

Your dining room should be neutral and inviting.  Light and neutral colors will make the room look bigger.  If you have dark walls, definitely paint them.  Remember, the house you live in is not the house you put on the market.  Perhaps the deep burgundy walls go nicely with your table settings and drapery, but you are moving, so pack up and go neutral!  When you choose to paint the room, this is a great opportunity to remove nails in the wall and fill in the holes. It is very distracting for buyers to see holes in the wall.  This screams WORK to a buyer.

How Should I Stage my Windows?Your windows should allow in as much light as possible.  If you have heavy and dark drapes, consider removing them or replacing them with lighter ones.  Be sure the windows and sparkling clean and window sills are dust and fly free!

Leave Off the Table Cloth When Staging a Dining RoomUnless you need to hide a less than perfect dining room table, leave the table cloth off. You want the room to look light and bright.  A table cloth can add weight to the room.  If you must use a table cloth, choose something light and neutral.  Or consider a table runner down the middle of the table.

stage a dining room

Should I Set the Dining Room Table? You can either set the table to look inviting or add a bouquet of flowers.  Another option is to use a table runner and a bouquet of flowers. Either option is fine as you want your buyers to find the room welcoming.  Because you want the buyers to picture themselves and their family enjoying the room, either option will work.

Should I use Doilies when I Stage a Dining room? Definitely not!  Doilies will date a room and distract a buyer.  Best to leave tables uncovered or use a table runner.

What Should I Avoid When Staging a Dining Room? When staging a dining room, avoid plastic or silk flowers and plants.  Because buyers will immediately recognize these are fake, they may wonder what else is fake in the house! Avoid having any furniture extending into doorways or over windows. Be sure all rooms are staged for their intended purpose. A dining room is not a bedroom, a toy room or an office.  Avoid anything potentially creepy, such as bizarre lamps, dolls, or animal heads.

Buyers expect to see a table and chairs in a dining room, along with a china cabinet. Buyers are easily distracted, so be sure your dining room conveys warms and an invitation to entertain and enjoy family and friends.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money in a dining room.  Remember you are moving, so starting to pack up extra dishes, pictures or items cluttering your dining room is a great way to being the moving process.

? Staging A House to Sell With Kids

When it is time to sell your house you may be able to take the dog and cat to a friend or relative’s house for the duration, but not your kids. What are you to do to keep your house in showing condition until you have an offer? Life continues as kids eat snacks, run fingers along the walls, leave toothpaste in the bathroom sink, and want to find all their toys.  As a parent, you are constantly cleaning, picking up, and doing laundry.  But now, your house is on the market, buyers are coming in an hour!  What do you do?

First, Stage Your Whole House as “Child Neutral” as Possible

Most kids have toys in several rooms, perhaps a bedroom, a playroom, and the family room. Decide on a central place for toys, which is often a bedroom. Leave your other rooms as a “child-free” zone when your house is shown so buyers can envision themselves living in the house.  Have a bin with your child’s favorite toys ready to gather toys for house showings, then place the bin in a closet.  After the showings, the bin can be brought out to any room ready for playing. Start With the Kids Bedrooms and Declutter.   If you have turned a den, dining room, or extra bedroom into a kid’s playroom, consider turning the room into one that buyers understand.  A dining room should look like a dining room.

Begin in the room with all the toys

You know what your kids play with and what they don’t. Have the kids outgrown some of the items?   This can be a good opportunity to donate outgrown toys.  Get a few bins and sort by “save”, donate,  discuss with the kids and throw out.  Kids usually want all their toys.   However, we know they only play with a few favorite ones.  After you have sorted through the toys and discarded broken toys or those with missing pieces then you are ready to talk to the kids.  Explain you will be moving to another house and you need their help to pack up their toys.   Get them involved in understanding the benefits of donating unneeded items.   Show the kids the bins to use for sorting the toys.  Make your kids part of the process.

Consider Eliminating Themed Rooms

All sellers need to remember the house they live in is NOT the house they put on the market.  Not all prospective home buyers will have children.  And if they do, they may be a different gender or age.  Start by repainting pink rooms.  Get rid of themed light switch plates (no princess here).  Takedown the pink valance on the window (you likely have blinds in the window anyway).  As with all rooms, you want the buyer to visualize their family living in this house.  While you will still be able to tell this is a child’s room, don’t make the room so distracting for the buyer.

Who are the home buyers for my home?  Check out this video by the National Association Of Realtors (NAR) on the 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

How many Buyers Have Children Under 18 Yrs of Age?

According to the NAR 2018 Profile of Home Buyers, only 34% of home buyers have children. This means that 66% of the buyers looking at your home will not have children under 18 years of age.  This is why it is important to neutralize the children’s room.  What will buyers notice?  Buyers will notice anything beyond a bed, nightstand, and dresser.  Remove other furniture so buyers are not distracted.

Clean out the Kid’s closets

Just like adult closets, kids closets need to be cleaned out also.  Remove outgrown clothes.  Box up clothes not immediately needed. Pack up items on closet shelves.  Again, decide what to keep, what to discard, and what to donate.  Remember, you are moving, so start packing and decluttering now!  Organize the clothes that are hanging up. Hang all the hangers in the same direction.  Be sure any other clothes on the shelves are neatly folded and do not look overly crowded. Neatly arrange shoes in the closet.

 Evaluate wall hangings and pictures

Since the house you live in is not the house you put on the market, remove most of the wall coverings.  Many kid’s rooms have superheroes and family pictures on the wall.  Just like you would remove most family pictures in your living room, also remove them in the bedroom and pack them away.  Perhaps you plan to have a new theme in your kid’s room at your new house.  Here is another opportunity to donate your child’s current themed items.

 You may also enjoy reading, The Best Places for Children – 2018 Edition

Remove Kids Wallpaper and Borders

Remove any wallpaper or borders in your kid’s room.  These can be distracting to buyers. If the buyer doesn’t have a child of the same age and gender, one look at the room and the buyer sees WORK.  No one likes to take down wallpaper.  Most of us don’t even want to try!  Some borders come down easily, but others not so easy.  If the buyer doesn’t love the room, they are adding the cost of making the room into one they like. Buyers are adding up the additional cost they will encounter.

? Best Time Of Year To Sell A House

Homeowners often ask when is the best time of year to sell a house.  While we do see more houses on the market in the spring, the real question is why are you selling?  Sellers who are facing a job transfer, have financial challenges, need to move closer to family, etc. may not have a chance to actually time the market.

Sellers need to find a knowledgeable real estate agent who can talk to them about the local housing market.  The best time to sell in Prescott, Arizona may not be the best time to sell in Phoenix, Arizona.  Many things enter into selling, including the market, potential seasonality, and the “why” the seller is moving.

If you are buying a new home, you need to decide if you want to buy your new home before you sell your current home. Or you need to decide to sell first, then purchase your new home.  Your overall plans and market conditions will dictate your selling strategy.

What is a RECAST home loan?

A recast home loan allows a buyer to purchase a new home, then all the old home. After the sale of the home, the buyer can use those proceeds for a one-time principal reduction.  This mean the seller can reduce the new mortgage using proceeds from the sale of the old home.  The interest rate stays the same, the loan is just amortized for the reduced mortgage.  There is no new appraisal required and the cost can be just a few hundred dollars.

Is Spring the Best Time to Sell?

We see more homes come on the market in the spring in the Phoenix metro area.  The holidays are over, and school will be out soon and people are contemplating their next home.  Folks with school-age kids often want to time a move to a new home or new city at the end of the school year.  Buyers looking for homes will find an increase in inventory in the spring.  Additionally, they will also find increased competition as we move closer to spring.

sell a house

Will My House Sell At Other Times of the Year?

Homebuyers are out looking at houses every day of the year (yes, some may even be out on holidays). Buyers look for houses when they need them.  Many people find themselves with a job transfer at the end of the year, meaning they start a new job on the 1st of the year.  These folks may be scheduling a house-hunting trip in December, yes, near the holidays!

When homeowners are faced with a divorce or death in the family, the event triggers the need to sell.  Unfortunately, the unexpected situation may trigger the need to sell, not necessarily the time of year.

Maricopa County was the 4th fastest growing county in 2017. This county is expected to continue with strong growth.  When a county has continued strong population growth, there is a demand for houses.  This continued growth suggests that Maricopa County (the Phoenix metro area) will continue to have a demand for housing throughout the year.  The market demand determines how well houses sell, not necessarily a seasonal impact

Look at Competition

One good indicator it is a good time to sell is a lack of inventory.  When inventory is down, sellers will find competition for their listings if priced right and in good condition. Sellers should look at market conditions, not necessary seasonality.

Consider Your Personal Situation

Whether it is a good time to sell will also depend on your personal situation.

 LIFE CHANGES When we experience life changes, our plans may suddenly change.  A death, a divorce, an aging parent needing care, even job transfers. Sometimes there are great opportunities, such as a great promotion! Often these changes will require a homeowner to sell their home.  In these situations, sellers rarely have the luxury of waiting until “a better market” occurs.

sell a house to a family membe

 Finances Sometimes finances change resulting in a reduction of income, and one can no longer afford to stay in a home.  While these are difficult situations, sometimes homeowners must make some difficult decisions.

Sometimes in a two-income household, only one person is now working.  One may stay home due to a new baby or unexpected medical condition of a child.  Sometimes a seller gets a substantial salary increase or inheritance and is ready to find a larger or more expensive home.

 

Downsizing As children grow up and move out of the house, homeowners naturally decide to downsize.  The 3000 SF  2 story house with five bedrooms gives way to a single level three bedroom and 2 bath home of 1800 SF.  When downsizing, sellers can time the market a bit more than others.  If a seller is downsizing, they can typically wait a few more months and take their time to find their new home.

Will Home Condition Affect My Home Selling?

Sellers want to sell at the best time of the year when they are not in a hurry and have some flexibility.  I find that while the timing may be a factor in selling, the bigger challenge is making sure your house is ready to sell.   This means decluttering and cleaning – cleaning – cleaning. 

Homes need to show well to the buyers who visit the house. Any money a seller may gain from putting the house on the market at the right time can be lost when the seller doesn’t fully prepare the house to sell for top dollar.  Buyers today will not overpay for a house.  They are looking for value.

Buyers want good value for their money when spending thousands of dollars on a house.  Today’s buyers are likely to stay in their homes for up to 10 years, so they need to make sure this decision is the right one!

Buyers can overlook things in the home that need to be updated, but they can’t overlook clutter and dirt.  The least expensive things sellers can do are declutter, removing excess furniture, depersonalize the house and clean.

What Else Can Affect My Ability to Sell For Top Dollar?

The timing of when a seller puts the house on the market may slightly affect the sale.  Sellers need to be sure the house is ready for buyers to see!  Next, sellers need to make the house available for buyers to see.

Sellers who put restrictions on appointments to see the house will have fewer showings.  Fewer showings mean the house takes longer to sell and may not sell for top dollar.

Buyers always ask me how long a house has been on the market.  The time on the market can and DOES affect what a buyer will offer for a house.  If a house is new to the market, buyers are more likely to offer full list price and ask for fewer seller concessions.

When buyers see a house has been on the market for weeks and has had several price reductions, they are likely to go in with a lowball offer.

As we enter the spring selling market, sellers will find this a great time to sell  The earlier you get on the market in the spring the better.  In Phoenix, the new inventory coming on the market usually starts to peak in April and May.

Price Your Home Right when Placing it on the Market

However, remember the goal isn’t just to time the market.  The goal is to price your house to sell.  You are not going to “give it away”. If buyers perceive you are well priced, you will likely receive multiple offers. Don’t forget the condition of your property is key to selling for top dollar for it.

While inventory is down a bit, buyers still are not willing to overpay for a house.  They also are looking for good value in their home.  Also, we know homeowners are staying longer in their homes and not moving as frequently as they did 10 years ago. Buyers are looking not only for value but a home they can grow into.

When you are ready to sell your house, you may consider buying a St Joseph Statue, as you want all the help you can get!  Selling your home depends on many things, including hiring the right real estate agent, pricing, house condition, and overall market conditions.  Additionally, some sellers want to find ways to help along the process.

For many years, sellers have tried unconventional ways to help along the selling process. And below are several ideas for anyone who decides to “help” along the home selling process!

? Burying a St. Joseph Statue and Other Selling Superstitions

 

Why Bury A St. Joesph Statue?

One superstitious tack many sellers swear by involves burying a statue of St. Joseph in your front yard, near your for sale sign.  Tradition has it that this statue should be buried upside down.  Also, once the house is sold, homeowners should then dig up the statue and take it to their new home. Burying a St. Joseph and Other Selling Superstitions Additionally, the statue should be placed on a mantel or self in a place of honor.

Who was St. Joseph?

We see St. Joseph in the Nativity scene at Christmas.  He stands there his wife, Mary, and the new baby.  Also, St. Joseph is the patron saint of families.  He is also recognized as the patron saint of working people and carpenters.  Also, he generally protects the average working person and home sellers as well.

To get your own St. Joseph statue, click on the link below to see all your available choices:

Click here to see all the St. Joseph options are available.

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Use Lucky #7 in Your Sales Price

The number seven is considered lucky all over the world.  Ask someone their “lucky” number and you will be surprised how many will say “7”.  You will find this thought of as a lucky number in various countries, such as Japan, Greece, China, and Egypt.  Many people believe you should include a “7” in your sales price. Burying a St. Joseph and Other Selling Superstitions What does it hurt?

Seven has been thought to be a perfect number since the time of the Pythagoreans. So, for many years sellers have been incorporating the number seven in their house prices.

Scatter Coins Like They Do in the Philippines

Some superstitious folks in the Philippines believe that scattering coins around the living room will invite financial prosperity.  These folks believe scattering the coins will attract the right buyer which will be financially beneficial to them.

West AfriciaTradition

In West Africa, there is a belief that your housework should be done in the morning. Therefore, if someone is cleaning up at night, you could sweep away your good fortune.

All sellers want their home to sell quickly and for the most amount of money.  Having a great real estate agent will ensure your home is marketed to the fullest is helpful. Additionally, the right agent will be sure your home has professional pictures and effectively staged.  Also, while an effective strategy will get your house sold, a little “divine” intervention will not hurt!

? Should I sell my House with a Flat Fee Broker?

Sellers always want to save money on the sale of their house.  I get it.  This is one of the largest assets most of us buy and sell.  Getting the right price may allow you to get to a larger home or a home in a more desirable location.

Sellers may be trying to get their children into better school districts.  Additionally, those downsizing may want to move to warmer climates or use the funds to buy a smaller home with cash.  Here is where sellers decide to look at Flat Fee Brokers.

Why pay a large amount of money to get a house sold if they don’t have to.  Good point!!  But….. (there is always a but) You need to do your due diligence and understand what services you will receive from a discount broker compared to a full-service brokerage.

Is There A Difference in Service With A Flat Fee Broker?

There are different business models for discount brokerages, even the name can be confusing.  Also, these may be referred to as Flat Fee brokerages.  Typically, real estate fees (which are negotiable) are a percentage of the sale price. A flat fee brokerage is just that.  They charge a flat fee to list a property, regardless of the sale price. This sounds like a great idea!

However, what do you receive for this flat fee?  Again, business models vary, but typically a seller can expect to have their property listed in the local multiple listing systems (MLS).  They may or may not take photographs.  In addition, they may or may not use a professional photographer.sell as a FSBO - professional photographer

Will they offer help on home staging?  Also, can they provide referrals for you for services to get your home ready to sell?  This can include a handyman, painter, plumber, landscaper, house cleaner, etc.

Some flat-fee brokerages require the seller to receive and negotiate offers on the property with the buyer’s agent.  Will the flat fee broker actually see the property or list it sight unseen?  How well will they understand property features to write a compelling, factual, and informative property description?

Imagine you are selling your home without a background in real estate or negotiating.  The seller will need to negotiate with a real estate professional who negotiates contracts every day!  Will you be passed from one person to another?  What are their priorities?  Do you need to net the most money from the sale or is the timing of the sale more important to you?

Is there a Difference in the Experience of An Agent?

Ask any agent about their real estate experience.  If they are new, do they have the support of a mentor or someone with a vested interest in their success?  Is this an agent working with high volume, such a company that throws out many low ball offers, waiting for something to stick?  Are you just one piece of the monthly volume or do they really care if you sell top dollar?

What do I get for the Money I Pay?

Again, ask for a detailed marketing plan.  Will they only do the basics of putting up a sign?  Are professional pictures used along with quality marketing materials?  We know that according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) states that over 90% of buyers use the internet for home searches.

How will this company market your home using social media?  Do they syndicate your home to other websites to maximize exposure of your home? Will they schedule your home on a local real estate agent tour?

Will A Flat Fee Broker Hold Open Houses?

Most companies referred to as “limited service” brokerages do not do open houses.  They offer limited services.  They may enter your listing in the Multiple Listing Service.  Placing the house in the MLS system may be all the marketing that is done for you.

How Will My House Appear on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

Sellers need to consider how their house may appear in the MLS.  Most MLS boards in the country syndicate listings, including the public remarks. The Public remarks contain the information on the property, ie “waterfront lot with pool and amazing outdoor entrainment area”.  The pictures are picked up and go to Realtor.com, Zillow.com, and hundreds of other websites.

If the public remarks are not compelling, and the pictures do not present the house in the best light, you will have little interest in the property.

Experienced real estate agents strategically provide a write up on the property.  Also,  multiple, well take pictures can make a buyer want to know more about your home.

Additionally, is the information in the MLS listing correct?  If you have a golf course lot, does a buyer understand this?  Do you have a great updated kitchen?  Does the listing write up to convey this to a buyer?

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS)A few years ago I represented a buyer on a property that had been in the MLS for over a year! The write up was terrible and there were only 5 pictures, and they were only small thumbnail-sized pictures.  I was required to negotiate directly with the seller.

Needless to say, my buyer got a great deal! The seller was happy because he “saved money”.  Yes, he “saved” commission money.  However, had this property been photographed, marketed, and negotiated properly, he would have netted more money on the sale.

If all that was necessary to sell a house what to place it in MLS, why do we average 20% of listings becoming canceled or expired every month?  It the MLS was all that was needed, we would have no expired listings!

How will A Flat Fee Broker Market My Home?

Sellers should ask how much money a limited-service company will spend to market their house?  If you are a “limited service” brokerage, you probably don’t spend money marketing.  Some sellers think that all that is needed is to place the house in MLS.  Unfortunately, these sellers don’t understand what else full services brokerages do to attract buyers to a property.

How Can A Flat Fee Real Estate Company Charge Less?

We have all heard the phrase – You Get What You Pay For – this is true in the real estate industry.  To get the maximum amount of money in the least amount of time, a house needs to be marketed correctly.  Additionally, the house needs to be staged correctly.

The pricing needs to be correct as well.  If a limited-service brokerage gets paid to put your house in the MLS system, their work is done.  This is how they charge less, they do less.   Additionally, you need to ask yourself, will they care if your house sells?  Again, they have been paid upfront.  Traditional real estate agents only get paid when your house sells, and that is at the end of the process?

Are There Other Fees Besides Real Estate Commissions?

In addition to a real estate commission, sellers need to understand there will be other costs besides real estate commissions. There are fees for a title company, a buyer’s title insurance policy, if there is a Home Owner Association (HOA), there may be fees for the seller to provide the buyer the rules of the HOA. Other costs include county recording fees or fees to send your loan pay off to your lender.

Will A Flat Fee Company Do a Home Inspection?

Many real estate agents recommend their sellers get a home inspection before the house goes on the market.  This inspection allows the seller to make repairs that would typically show up on an inspection report.

Additionally, sellers are often not aware of broken roof tiles or mortar caps that show up on the report. Also, sellers may not go into their attic often and may not be aware of attic issues that may surface.

Sellers should know of any issues a buyer may find in an inspection report.  Buyers can ask a seller to make repairs.  However, a buyer can immediately cancel a contract due to too many repair issues.

Also, having an early inspection allows the seller to get estimates for repairs and negotiate the best price without the pressure of a repair request deadline.

Do  I have to Disclose Things About The Property to  A Flat Fee Company?

In  Arizona, state law requires sellers to disclose material facts about their property. This disclosure is required whether a seller sells the property themselves (FSBO) or with a real estate company.  State law requires buyers to have information that could influence their decision to buy a property.  Also, buyers need to know anything that could influence the price they would offer for a property.

Will I get feedback from Real Estate Agents who Show my House?

Full-service agents will typically call showing agents for feedback on a property.  Often, a survey is automatically generated when an agent uses the real estate agents’ secure lockbox.  Most flat fee companies do not spend the time and manpower to gather information and share the information with the seller.

Sellers may find it difficult to know why the house isn’t selling after several showings.  Is it price, condition, location or staging?  It may be difficult for sellers to make decisions on pricing changes.

Do I have to be Home When The House Is Shown?

use a realtor

This is a question for your flat fee listing agent.  What type of lock box on the house, if any?  Will it be a contractor lockbox with a 4 digit code or a secure Suplockboxbox that tracks the name of the real estate agent who accessed the key along with the date and time?  Will my home remain secure?

Today sellers have choices.  Most sellers want to set the most money from their sale in the least amount of time,  However, there are sellers who will opt for the convenience of getting a house sold quickly.  Sellers need to understand the differences in the various options.   If getting the most money for a house is important that a full service broker could be the right answer.  Do your homework and ask questions to understand your options.

? Where to Get Free Boxes Moving Boxes for Sellers?

When it is time to pack up for a move, sellers need to find plenty of boxes to start packing!  Even if you are using a moving company that will pack your home for you, there will be closets and drawers you will want to sort through ahead of time.  You are moving, so now is the time to declutter your home. Start a donation pile and a garage sale pile!

We don’t ever want to pay for something if we can get the same item for free!  There are several places to explore to get free boxes.

First, start your search early.  Check local community Facebook groups.  Find someone who has recently moved into a house.  Often, folks are happy to give away boxes to someone else moving.  Sure, they can recycle them, but if asked or reminded someone can use them,  most folks are happy to have you pick them up.

Check Local Stores for Boxes

There are several stores to check out for free boxes.  Start with the big box stores like Sams or Costco.  They get frequent deliveries and have a nice assortment of sizes.  Check out the liquor boxes which come with dividers.  Wine comes 12 bottles to a box and you have dividers too.  Liquor boxes are typically divided into 6 sections, allow for separation of other items. Additionally, liquor is sold in glass bottles, which means those boxes are going to be very sturdy.

 

Check out Local Stores in Your Area

Store get shipments of items to sell in cardboard boxes, then must discard them after unpacking.  Many stores are happy to let you take the boxes for free!  Choose stores with boxes that are easy to move after you get them packed.  You can get a lot of stuff in a huge box, but do you want to lift it? Look for undamaged, clean boxes.   Also, be sure to get several sizes of boxes.

Where to Get Free Boxes Moving Boxes for Sellers

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Grocery Stores get daily shipments of food.  In addition to any liquor boxes, look for boxes where apples or bananas have been shipped.  These boxes are heavy and often have side cut-outs for handles. Additionally, these boxes usually have lids that slide over the box, keeping them secure!  These boxes are uniform in size, not too big and easy to move around.

The Local Liquor Store

Just like looking for boxes at Costco or Sam’s, your local liquor store will be happy to get rid of their sturdy boxes with dividers.  Again, these boxes are not overly big, so you can easily pack and move them as needed.

Facebook

Look for community pages on Facebook. Most communities have these local groups.  This is a great please to ask anyone with boxes to let you pick them up when they are finished with them.  It is also a great way to get rid of them after you move and are unpacked.

You can probably pick up boxes as the user gets them unpacked.  As long as they are saving the boxes, many folks will save the packing paper for you as well!  When you get boxes from someone who has used a professional moving company, you also will likely get wardrobes for clothes.

These are great boxes with a hanging rod so you can hang up your clothes!  Directly from your closet to the box, and into your new closet!  Also, professional movers use the smaller boxes, called dish packs, for dishes.  They also have larger boxes for lamps or other large items.

Professional moving companies typically use special boxes for mirrors and pictures they are large and flat, easily fitting your artwork!

Nextdoor Neighbor

This is another community site.  This community typically within a specific neighborhood or adjacent neighborhoods.  Neighbors like to help neighbors.  These groups will often announce available boxes.  Most people like to recycle when reasonably possible and somewhat convenient.

It is pretty convenient when a neighbor comes over and picks up the boxes you just emptied!  In these groups, someone always knows someone who may be able to help!Free boxes when moving

Ask Your Realtor

As a real estate agent, I know which clients are moving and need boxes or have boxes,  Even when someone may not be ready to move, they are having conversations about moving or getting ready to move.

I often match up sellers with folks looking to move and recycle boxes.

Craigslist

Here is another great source where recent home buyers offer up their boxes on a first come first serve basis!  Remember, you need to be quick.  Once the boxes are emptied, the new homeowner wants them gone!

Freecycle

Freecycle is a recycling website.  There are various groups around the Phoenix area. CLICK FOR LINK.  At this site, people offer up items for free and they note items they would like to have for free.

Office Building

Check your office.  Often a business will have boxes which copy paper comes in.  These are heavy-duty boxes with nice lids.  Start early and collect a few a week.  By bringing a few boxes home each week you can gradually start your backing and decluttering!

Last Resort – Purchase Boxes

If you are not able to find enough boxes from the free sources, it may be time to buy them.  Home Depot sells boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape.  Veterans receive a 10% discount from Home Depot.  They offer a variety of box sizes.

U-Haul

You can purchase boxes and moving materials from U-Haul.  They also offer a great box exchange program for their customers.  CLICK HERE for a link to the exchange.

U-Haul also has several programs that allow our customers to get together and share rides  This benefits our customers and communities. this sharing keeps boxes out of the landfills.  This reduces fuel consumption by sharing rides.

When it is time to move, start early looking for boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, and tape.  Gather a few boxes and go home and clean out a closet, and repeat!  When you start early the task of moving will be less overwhelming.

Getting free boxes and supplies not only saves you money, but recycling helps the environment.  Don’t forget to offer your empty boxes to others when you finish your move and have your boxes unpacked.  Moving is a great time to declutter!  Get serious about sorting through your items.

Remember, it costs money to move.  moving companies charge by the pound.  Why would you want to move hundreds of pounds of “stuff” that you really don’t want?

? How to Sell A House With A Tenant?

There are times when a homeowner wants to sell a house with tenants already living in the house. Sellers may be selling multiple family properties and the purchaser wants the tenant to remain in the property.  Buyers for a single-family home,  condos, or the purchaser may want to live in the house.  Either way, Arizona does have landlord-tenant laws that sellers and their agents need to understand.

 

How do I Sell A Property With a Lease in Place?If you are selling a property and the tenants have a lease in place, the new buyer legally needs to honor that lease.  That includes the duration of the lease and the entire rental agreement.  If there is a good lease in place, and the buyer is an investor this will work for everyone!  If there is a lease and the buyer wants to owner occupy the property, the new owner can give the buyer an incentive to move, but can not break the lease. Arizona has a 48-hour landlord-tenant law that requires a tenant to have 48 hours for the property to be entered by the owner or a real estate agent.  The tenant can provide a written exception to the 48 hrs rule.

Selling a Property Without a LeaseIf you are selling and the tenants are on a month to month lease, you only need to give a 30-day notice in Arizona.  Homeowners would still need to follow the 48-hour notice for access to the property.  Again, the tenant could give permission for less than 48 your notice.how to sell a property your inherit Also, some owners will give a  tenant a rent reduction in exchange for allowing the house to be shown with reasonable notice and keeping the home ins showing condition.

Will the Tenants Vacate the house Before it goes On the Market?Some tenants will be happy to terminate their lease and move early.  However, other tenants will not be happy the property is being sold. Other tenants may not care as long as the new owner honors their rental agreement.  Typically, if you are looking for multi-family housing, the logical purchaser would be an investor who intends to honor the current leases.  A single-family house, condo, or townhouse could be purchased by an individual wanting to owner-occupy.  In these cases, it would be best to have the property vacant.

Check The Landscaping and PoolIf the tenants maintain the landscape and pool you may want to look at service to come in and ensure the yard and pool areas are in top condition. Take a good look at the property exterior.  If the tenant has a dog, be sure they are picking up after the dog on a daily basis.

Nothing is more frustrating to a potential buyer than walking in your yard and stepping on “gifts” left behind by a dog.

 

 

Can a landlord show your home while you still live there?In Arizona, a landlord would have to follow the state’s Landlord-Tenant guidelines.  Tenants must be given a 24 – 48-hour notice for entrance into the property.  The tenant must still give permission for access into the property.   When planning to sell a house, the landlord should communicate with the tenant.  If the tenant is on a month to month lease, you may be better off waiting until the tenant has vacated the property. Keep in mind the tenant must still give permission for anyone to access the property.  If your tenant is going to be resistant to having the property shown, wait until they move out.  There is nothing that requires the tenant to maintain the house in showing condition like you would if you were showing your own home.

Offer to pay for a moving company when renters are ready to move, they start to think of all the expenses they will pay to pay for.  In addition to the moving expenses, tenants have to come up with the first month’s rent and security deposit.  Also, they may also have to pay deposits for utilities. Look for ways to minimize the out of pocket expenses the tenant will encounter.

Does the House Have To Be Available for Showings? Some homeowners will put a house on the market and do not allow showings until there is a purchase contract in place.  Few home buyers want to purchase a house sight unseen.  After the house is under contract, the buyer is then able to do a home inspection.  Some buyers are not willing to place a contract on a house without seeing the inside of the property. Often sellers require this to avoid intruding on the renters.

Offer Weekly Cleaning ServicesIf your current tenant has indicated it is difficult to keep the property clean for showings, offer a cleaning service.  This will cost you a few dollars, but it may make your tenant more willing to have the property shown, and ensures you it shows well.  Nothing is a turn off for buyers like dirty or stained bathrooms.  A cleaning service can eliminate this.  While it will still be up to your tenant to get the property picked up, you are assured it is clean.  The cleaning service would likely appeal to the tenant and provide a nice perk for them.

While it is possible to sell a house with a tenant living in it, it certainly can be more difficult. Sellers need to consider the legal ramifications to the clients and be sure they adhere to the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act.  It is also helpful for the landlord to offer the tenant a discount on their rent if they want the tenant to make the house available for showings. Tenants need some incentive to make the house accessible and in showing condition.

? How To Sell A House To A Family Member in Arizona

You may ask, how do you sell a home to a family member?  Selling your home without an experienced real estate agent can be risky.  Oh, it sounds easy.  You agree on a price and a date to transfer ownership, then complete the sale, right?  While there are several factors to consider, you can absolutely do this successfully.  Just be sure to consider the following potential issues.

Price Your Home Correctly

A seller normally sets a price, the buyer then makes an offer and if necessary, buyers and sellers negotiate to arrive at an agreeable sales price.  The challenge you may run into is finding a price agreeable to the buyer and seller.  Typically the real estate agent will look for comparable sales in your area and comparable homes actively for sale.  The real estate professional will compare the properties and adjust based on the condition of a house and location.  A home of similar size near you may be worth much more due to updates to the property.  It could be worth much less because you have updated your house and they haven’t.  You and the seller may not agree on the value of updates (or the lack of them).

Get an Appraisal on the Property

Consider paying an appraiser to do a professional appraisal on your house.  Appraisers are experts in pricing homes, taking into account the current market value.  The appraiser is an independent third party to no attachment to the sale.  You will want to have the legal sellers and legal buyers to sign the documents.  Title companies in Arizona will often provide an information packer for a For Sale By Owner to use in the transaction.Additionally, appraisers appraise dozens of houses each month so they will add value for a 3 car garage, a swimming pool, golf course lot or other special features of the home.

 

Determine what paperwork you will use

Decide what documentation you will use to state the agreed-upon sales price, closing date, and what, if any other furniture or appliances also will be part of the sale. You will want to have the legal sellers and legal buyers to sign the documents.  Title companies in Arizona will often provide an information packer for a For Sale By Owner to use in this type of transaction.

Should the Buyer Get A Loan?

A buyer can get a loan to purchase a home not being sold through a real estate agent.  The lender will want a copy of the purchase contract and will ask the buyer for all the same information as they would for a real estate agent purchase.    The buyer should ask the lender for a letter stating the type of loan they are obtaining.  A lender can also provide a pre-qualification letter for the seller.  A wise seller will want proof the buyer can complete the purchase.  Even if the buyer is family, it is prudent to confirm the buyer can obtain a loan and the lender can fund the sale by the sale date agreed to buy the buyer and seller.

Should A Seller Finance the Relative’s Home Purchase?

Sellers can certainly finance the loan for the buyer.  Again, this needs to be documented.  The buyer and seller should agree on the interest rate and payment due date.  A wise seller should also document the payment of late fees.  Sellers should also document what happens if the buyer does not make the payments.  In Arizona, standard public loans state a bank can foreclose on a property if no payment is made for 6 months.

At 90 days of no payment, the banks issue a “notice of default”.  This puts the homeowner on notice that they are 90 days late and in 90 more days, they will foreclose on the property.  The borrowers can bring the loan current day before the end of the 90 days.

Sellers should be sure they are willing to make difficult decisions should a family member default on the loan.  The terms and conditions you put in the purchase contract will ensure if a buyer (family member) doesn’t honor their loan commitment, the seller has appropriate legal recourse.

Should the Buyer get a Home Inspection?

Buyers of a relative’s property should definitely get a home inspection!   The sellers may not be aware of the problems are identified in the inspection.  For instance, most of us do not go on our roofs in Arizona and inspect the tile and mortar caps.   Buyers of a relative’s home will probably not look under every sink, check for water drainage in all sinks and tubs or laundry rooms.  Also,  A home inspector is a neutral third party who looks at the main aspects of the home during a standard home inspection

In Arizona, home inspectors are required to be licensed by the state.  Also, Home inspectors follow a set process to inspect a house.  They check the attic, roof, lawn sprinkler system, AC, pool, and other systems.  The inspector will provide a written inspection report for the buyer to review.  Then, the buyer can review the report and decide if they want to ask the seller to make repairs.  At a minimum, the buyer should be aware of any issues in the house and can proceed accordingly.

Should a Buyer Get A Termite Inspection?

In Arizona, we have a saying.  Homes either have had termites or will have termites.  Termites in the Phoenix area are typically subterranean termites.  They move slowly and live in the ground.  Often the first indicator of termites is the termite tube on the stem wall of the house.  Termites build “tubs” from the ground into the house.  Termites need to have moisture hence the tubes they build.  Any home buyer in the Phoenix Metro area should have a termite inspection.  If termites are detected, the house needs to be treated for termites.

Do You Need A Home Warranty?

Buyers should consider asking the seller to pay for a home warranty.  This is a warranty that covers the first year in the home.  Should appliances, the water heater, AC unit, or pool have repairs, the home warranty can offset the expense of a major repair for the homeowner.  Most real estate agents involved in a purchase transaction will request a home warranty paid for by the seller for the home buyer.

Strained Family Relationships

Could a family sale strain family relations/?  What if a buyer doesn’t get a home inspection, and subsequently finds a problem with the house?  Could sparks fly between the seller and buyer/?  Will the buyer think the seller was not honest with all the information on the house?

sell a house to a family membe Will the seller have feelings hurt because they may not have been aware of a problem?  Families need to decide if they can withstand any housing issues that may surface from a family transaction. Buyers and sellers need to consider the family dynamics that could plague them for years.

What If the Home Doesn’t Appraise at Contract Price

What if the buyer is getting a traditional loan and the property doesn’t meet the appraised price?  As with any home purchase, the seller will need to agree to drop the price. Or, the buyer can pay a bit more for the house and bring in more down payment. OR the buyer can walk away from the transaction. What happens to family dynamics when this happens? Again you don’t have a buyer and seller willing to be flexible in a transaction who knows what long term impact there will be on family relationships.

Use a Title Company

sell a house to a relative

You will definitely want to use a title company, which is a neutral third party to hold the earnest money, receive the buyer’s loan and pay off taxes or loans accordingly to the particular situation.  The title company will also run a title report to ensure there are no liens on the property.  Maybe your relative didn’t intentionally mislead you regarding what they owe on the property, but buyers should protect themselves against any risky situation.

Does The Seller Need to Provide Seller Disclosures in Arizona?

Sellers in Arizona are required to tell buyers specific information about the property and the property condition. A seller must disclose important information that would affect the buyer’s decision to purchase a property or the price paid for the property.  (This requirement is a legal requirement in Arizona as a result of state statutes and court cases).  Sellers usually complete a seller’s disclosure statement.  When transactions use real estate agents, they require the seller to complete a Seller Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS).  Today, this is an eight-page document. A real estate agent will require a buyer to sign the document as proof of receipt.  Buyers who sign the document are not agreeing or disagreeing with the document, just providing proof they were given the document.

What is a Lead-Based Paint Disclosure?Arizona law requires a buyer to be notified that properties built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint.  Transactions involving a real estate agent require the buyer, buyer’s agent, the seller, and the seller’s agent to sign this document.  This ensures buyers are aware of the potential lead-based paint, and the buyers are giving written information on lead-based paint.

Sellers need to consider several potential pitfalls if they are planning to sell their property to relatives.  With the right safeguards in place, this can be accomplished.  Is the sale of someone’s biggest financial asset best protected as a for sale by owner transaction?  This transaction could also have legal ramifications if not completed correctly. A better option may be to list your home for sale with a real estate agent, and if your relative provides the best contract offer, they get the house.  Do you want the most money for your home?  Sellers typically get the most money with the widest exposure to the property.  Listing a  property in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) gives you this advantage.

?️ How to Get Your House Ready To Sell Quickly

You can get your house ready to sell quickly in two ways.  You can sell your home to any number of companies that pay cash for houses and offer a quick close.  These companies are offering convenience.  They will pay you below market value. However, you can get a quick close.  There are times that this may make sense.  For instance, if you have an offering on another property and that purchase is contingent on the sale of your house. Or, you can make your house very attractive to buyers to get an offer quickly on the house.  Having a house attractive to buyers includes pricing AND condition.

Hire The Right Real Estate Agent

Hire an agent familiar with your area.  You want an active agent who will not only market your house but prospect daily for buyers for your house.  Sellers will want to see a clear and concise marketing plan.  Will the agent hold open houses?  Place the property on a local real estate agent tour?  An agent should walk through the house and look at it with the critical eyes of a buyer.  Are there loose or broken cabinet doors? If so, repair.  Do you have frayed carpet or broken tiles?  If so, repair. Are there any dripping faucets?  If so, repair.  Do you see any loose or damaged roof tiles, If so, make repairs?. sell your house quickly

Do the fascia boards around your roofing need painting,  If so, repair.  Are there any loose or broken light switches or electrical outlets?  If so, repair. 

Buyers are looking for a reason to buy your house. Be sure you change the air filters.  When buyers see dirty air filters, they know the AC units are being overworked. 

Look at the House Through The Eyes Of a Buyer

If the seller can’t be bothered to change the air filters, what other routine maintenance items have been ignored?  have When buyers see small items needing repair, they often think there could be more serious repairs needed.  Look at your house through the eyes of a buyer.  

Declutter The House

You are moving.  Pack up half of your house!  Clean out bookshelves, end tables, and coffee tables.  Clear off the counters and leave only a coffee maker.  Let buyers see all the potential room on the kitchen counters. If you have many appliances on the counters, buyers will think you don’t have enough storage space.

Buyers will have a hard time picturing themselves living in your kitchen if they can’t see how much counter space is really available.  Clean out all the cabinets, pantry and linen closets.  Buyers will open your cabinet and pantry doors. Buyers will think there isn’t enough storage room If you have these packed to the brim,

Depersonalize Your House

If you want buyers to picture themselves living there, then you need to depersonalize the house.  The house you live in is not the house you put on the market.   REmove most of your family pictures on walls and tables.  You are moving so pack up these items.  Also, pack up any collections.  A doll collection or any other massive collection can be distracting to buyers.

Remove any animal trophies you may have on the wall. sell your house quickly You want to appeal to all buyers.  Some buyers are offended by elk or deer heads. While your family and friends may admire your hunting ability, buyers can be turned off.

 

Make Your House Accessible to Buyers

Sellers need to think about how buyers and their agents will get access to the house.  There will be more buyers visiting a house if they make it easy to schedule a visit.  When sellers limit showings to evenings or weekends, they will find fewer buyers. Many buyers will be unable to schedule their showings around your schedule.

Everyone understands that life happens, and if you have a birthday party or family dinner scheduled, you may need to limit showings.  However, listings that state showings are only available weekends will languish on the market.

Price Your Home To Sell

Your real estate agent will show buyers comparable sales of homes in your area.  If you have 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms, a 2 car garage, and a swimming pool, buyers will see other properties like yours to help you understand the market price is for your home.  In today’s market, buyers will not overpay for a property.  Aso, buyer’s agents will show buyers homes that are priced correctly and in good condition.

If a buyer likes your house, the agent will show the buyer comparable (comps) for your house so the buyer understands how much money to offer for your house.  It is a mistake for sellers to “start high” believing they can drop the price later.  The longer a property is on the market, it is less likely buyers will offer your full list price.  Homes have the most market activity in the first two weeks on the market.  Buyers look at homes new to the market.  After a few weeks, interest declines.

Great Curb Appeal

Sellers should be sure that the buyers who do see their house see a house in great condition as well as priced correctly.  Curb appeal is huge when buyers are deciding on a home to purchase.  Ensure the house is welcoming.   Your front door should be welcoming and in great condition. Add a few flower pots of brightly colored flowers to welcome your buyer at the front door.  Be sure the front a landscaping is clean and neatly trimmed.

All bushes and trees should be trimmed.  Buyers should not have to fight a bush or branch to get you your front door.  What buyers see on the outside of the house is typically what will be seen on the inside.  If sellers are meticulous with their exterior landscaping, buyers think sellers will likely equally meticulous about the inside.

Consider Small Updates

Sellers need to look at a house like a buyer.  How do the sinks and faucets look in a bathroom?  Perhaps a new sink and cabinet hardware will update the bathroom.  What about a new shower curtain or new hardware such as towel bars. Always update bathroom lighting.  This is inexpensive but screams UPDATE to buyers.

Consider replacing a large mirror with a framed mirror.  Or, look at kits that allow you to add a frame to a plain mirror to give it an updated look.

Consider updating the light fixture and ceiling fans.  These can be purchased at Home Depot or other stores.  There are inexpensive options for sellers to consider which shows buyers a house is updated.

 

If you want to sell your house quickly, you want to have your house ready for buyers to see themselves living in the house. You also want to be priced to sell, not trying out the market. Buyers have many choices and you want your house to be top of mind.  If you aren’t or willing to have your property ready for buyers, you may want to sell to an investor.

? How to Stage a Kitchen to Sell A House

When buyers are looking at a home, the kitchen is a key focus.  We all spend time in our kitchens and it is often the gathering place for family and guests.  What to buyers notice first?  They notice the size of the kitchen and the layout. They focus on the countertops, workspace on the counters, and cabinet space.  Do they see themselves entertaining here?  Is there enough storage space? They look around.to see if they can visualize their family living day to day in your house. 

How do you make sure buyers find your kitchen inviting?  Keep in mind that the house you live in is not the house yo put on the market.  You live and entertain in your home surrounded by your family pictures and memories.  Buyers coming into your home need to see how they can make their own memories in your home, so declutter and depersonalize.

Appliances – Ovens,  Stoves, and Refrigerators

In Arizona, the stove, built-in microwave, and dishwasher convey with the house.  The seller decides whether the refrigerator, washer, and dryer also convey with the house.  Start with the refrigerator.  Remove the boxes of cereal and plastic containers from the top of the refrigerator.  Remove the magnets from the front and side of the refrigerator. Again, the buyers need to visualize their families living there, not yours.  While you are at the refrigerator, clean it out and wipe out all the shelves and surfaces. Be sure doors to the refrigerator and handles are clean and sparkling.  Whether you are including the refrigerator with the sale of the house, there is a very good chance the buyer will still open it up.  Seeing a  refrigerator crammed full of old dishes and packaging conveys the idea that there isn’t much storage room in the house.

Next tackle the stove.  If you have a flat surface cooktop, be sure it is smooth and free of food stains or food buildup.  Clean the oven.  Even if you have a self-cleaning oven you will need to wipe out the inside after the cleaning turns off.  Use a toothbrush to clean around the handle to dislodge any grim.  Be sure the knobs for the burners are clean along with the stove area around the knobs.

Appliances – Dishwashers, Disposals, and Microwaves

image of a stainless stove

Don’t forget your dishwasher. While your dishwasher cleans dishes, food and soap can build up inside the dishwasher and cause odors.  Be sure to clean around the inside of the door and gasket.  If your baskets are corroded, consider replacing damaged roller shelves. Run the dishwasher empty to on the longest cycle to clean the insides.

The garbage disposal is another area that can harbor odors.   Put some baking soda down the disposal.  Add a lemon rind and give it a whirl to freshen up the disposal.

We all know a microwave is a great appliance for heating coffee or other liquids.  We also know how much food spatters inside a microwave.  Once food spatters, if it isn’t wiped up immediately, the heat bakes it on the top and walls of the interior of the microwave.  Be sure the inside of the microwave and turntable is spotless.  Nothing is more of a turn off than someone else’s dirty appliances. Check under the microwave and if you have removable vents, remove and clean them.  Often these can go in the dishwasher.

Cabinets and Countertops

Typically the first thing a buyer will see is the countertops. Declutter the kitchen starting with the countertops.  You can leave a coffee pot on the counter, but the rest needs to go.  This includes the can opener, hot pot, cookbooks, slow cooker, set of knives, canisters, all must go!  Buyers need to visualize themselves living and cooking your kitchen.  There is no better way for buyers to visualize themselves in your kitchen than having them see a blank slate.  If you have appliances and food items on the counter, the kitchen screams lack of space!  Add a colorful bowl of fruit for a fresh splash of color. Be sure the countertops, counter edges, and around the sink sparkle.  

Wipe off all the cabinets.  Use good quality wood polish to make them shine.  If your cabinets are not in good repair, consider painting them.  Today white cabinets are very much in style.  Also, consider adding nice hardware to the cupboards and drawers.  Wipe out the inside of the cabinets and drawers. You can be sure buyers will be opening and closing cabinets and drawers.

Kitchen Sink

picture of granite counter tops

Take a look at your kitchen sink.  Be sure to deep clean around the sink and caulk if necessary.  Does the faucet drip or leak?  If so, consider replacing it with a modern, yet inexpensive faucet.  Check under the sink.  Be sure there are no leaks under the sink.  Leaking and dripping faucets tell a buyer you are not maintaining the home.  Active leaks can also lead to the growth of mold.  Buyers will certainly do a home inspection, and the home inspector will definitely find the leaks, so fix them as soon as you find them.

Clean out the drain.  Check out your faucets.  If the water doesn’t run smoothly, use CLR to get rid of any calcium build-up on the faucet.

Organize your Drawers and Cupboards

Buyers will be opening cabinets and drawers.  Be sure your cabinets are organized and excess dishes are put in storage.  If dishes are overflowing out of your cabinets, it tells the buyer this house doesn’t have sufficient storage.  If you don’t have enough storage, the buyers probably won’t either. Have all your coffee cup handles facing the same direction.  Alphabetize your spices.  Buyers will think you are meticulous,  not only in your kitchen but with the overall maintenance of the home.

Kitchen Table, Chairs and Bar Stools

Avoid the temptation of putting a tablecloth on the kitchen table.  Polish the table, including the table legs, chairs, and chair legs.  Use placements on the table and set the table with an attractive silverware, plates, and glasses.  Make the setting inviting so buyers can see themselves gathering and entertaining. Limit the chairs around your table to four chairs, so that the room doesn’t look too small.  Consider taking out any table leaves so the room feels open.

Windows and Lights

stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home

Kitchens need to be bright and light.  Be sure to wash the windows inside and outside.  If you live in Arizona where dark sunscreens are often used, remove the sunscreens while the house is on the market. Consider removing curtains or valances over windows.  These can block light and you want this room to be bright and light.

Dust off all light fixtures and ceiling fans.  Consider updating lights if possible.  Put in bright light bulbs and be sure all bulbs are working.  Burned out bulbs look like the home isn’t well maintained.  Also, buyers don’t know if only a bulb is burned out or the light is broken.  Be sure all light switches are clean and free of dirt or grime.

Kitchen Flooring

Be sure your kitchen floor is bright and clean.  Scrub the crout or consider having the grout professionally cleaned.  Be sure the baseboards are clean.  If there are marks on the baseboards, consider painting the baseboards to make them appear fresh and clean.

Kitchen Doors

Most kitchens have doors to the patio area.  Be sure these are clean and shiny!  Wipe all door surfaces from top to bottom.  If you have a sliding door, clean inside of the sliding track.  These often hold dirt or pet hair.

Kitchens are the focal point of most homes and a great kitchen is a high priority for most home buyers.  Buyers can see past a house that needs some updating, but they can’t see past houses that are dirty.  If buyers feel your home isn’t clean,  they will likely think you are maintaining your home well.  Knowing your kitchen is going to be a top priority to a buyer, you would be wise to spend some extra time and money to make the room memorable!

How Do I Sell a House I Inherited?

I am often asked how to sell a house you inherit.  A few years ago a family member passed away and my husband and I had to work through this very situation.  This blog will address a property left directly to your and or other family members.

Determine if there is a Personal Representative or Executive for the Deceased’s Estate

Hopefully, the person who has passed away has left a will or placed a beneficiary deed on the property. (In Arizona, a property owner can identify the person they want to inherit the property upon their death.  At the time of death, the property immediately passes to that individual without going through the probate process.  The owner of the property can change the beneficiary deed at any time.  They can sell or refinance the house without the permission of the named individual (s) on the beneficiary deed).

The executor of the will is responsible for distributing or selling the assets of the person who has passed away.  An Executor will follow the directions in a will if there is one.  If there is no will to be found, the executor should consult a  real estate attorney to understand how probate works in Arizona.

Is There An Executor of the Estate?

Once an executor has been identified, this person will work with the other beneficiaries to decide whether the house will be retained or sold.  If the decision is made to sell the house, the first step is cleaning out the property.  When deaths are unexpected, the heirs will likely find a house full of furniture and personal items.

Once the personal and family items are dispersed, the remaining house items must be attended to.

Decision to Sell

Once the decision is made to sell the house, the executor will usually look for a way to sell the house contents.  There are a few options to consider.  Clothing in good repair can be donated to a number of places, such as homeless shelters, battered women’s shelters, Goodwill, etc.  The furniture and decorating items ould also be donated.

Estate Sale Companies

Another option may be to hire private companies that come in and hold an estate sale.  These companies will price the items and have staff on hand for the sale.  TEstate sale companies charge a percentage of the proceeds for this work. However, this expertise ensures the house content is priced correctly.  Also, these companies can also help identify collectible items or antiques. These items may bring more money if sold at specialty stores, perhaps bringing in more money.

Determine If There Are Any Property Leins

The Executor will need to determine if there are any liens on the property.

how to sell a property your inherit

The lien could be a home loan, a reverse mortgage loan, a tax lien, a homeowner association lien.  Another lien type we see is a mechanic’s lien. A mechanic’s lien is placed on a property for work performed on the property but not paid for (remodeling or installation of a furnace or AC unit).  Additionally, any liens would need to be satisfied before any proceeds go to the heir(s)

What is Market Value?

The representative of the estate should contact a real estate agent familiar with the area to proving information on recent comparable sales.  It is key to understand the local pricing. Often, heirs out of the area who may think the property has a higher or lower value.

Who Will Maintain The Property?

You need to consider how the property will be maintained before the sale is completed. Depending on where the inherited property is located, you may be hiring out this maintenance.  As you are considering pricing, you will want to factor in upkeep on the property.  Additionally, who will pay the utilities?  Who will check on the property to make sure everything is safe and secure within.  You will want to look at the need for landscaping or pool service.  If you are in snowy areas, consider how the driveway will be plowed and how the steps or sidewalk to the house will be maintained.

Who will pay for these services while you are waiting for the sale?  Can one or more of the heirs afford to carry this financial burden to pay these services monthly until the sale is complete?

What is the Fastest Way to Sell The Property?

Depending on the condition of the house, you may be able to sell the house quickly.  Also, if the home is nicely updated, once the personal property has been removed, you could list the house.  If there are condition issues, you will need to decide if you want to make reasonable repairs. You may want to make repairs or sell quickly to investors.  An investor will likely pay you the least amount of money, buying the house “as is”.  The benefit to the seller is no repairs may be needed.  If you are out of the area, this may be a big plus!

Should You Get A Vacant House Insurance Policy?

Check with the insurance company to ensure they will ensure a vacant property. Insurance companies may treat a vacant house different an occupied property as there may be a more likely chance of vandalism.

What Disclosures will you need to provide?

The state of Arizona requires sellers to disclose material facts they know about the house.  This information may affect the price buyer may be willing to pay.   Additionally, if you have inherited property, you may know little about the house or have no knowledge of the property.  The state of Arizona requires sellers to disclose what they know.   Sellers are not asked if they lived in the property, but to disclose what they know.  You may not know many things about the property, however, you need to disclose what you know.

Consultant a tax attorney

Folks inheriting a property should consult a tax attorney to understand what their tax liability might be.  Also, several factors go in to determine tax liabilities. A professional can explain your tax implications to ensure you are paying the lowest taxes. Everyone’s tax situation is different,

Dealing With Family

When you are selling Mom’s or Grandma’s house it is very emotional.  Additionally, countless kids and grandkids may remember all the wonderful memories of visiting mom or grandma.  You need to break through the family’s emotions and look at the present. Grandma is no longer at the house.  We take our memories.  We need to look at the best financial decisions for the family.

Should I hire an appraiser?

It is a good idea to hire an appraiser to determine the current market value of a property.  Also, this shows an heir what the likely sale value of a house might be. This also helps the executor of the estate pricier the property for sale.  Many estate attorneys will ask for an appraisal of value as the date the homeowner passes away.

In Arizona, Seller Disclosures are Required

The state of Arizona requires sellers to disclose what they know about a property.  This could be repairs and issues the seller has encountered.  However, if you inherit a property, you may not be aware of the work done on the property.   Disclosures also include any information the seller is aware of, such as disclosures the seller received when they bought the house.   Also included is any other information the seller may have, even if it was from neighbors.  When someone inherits a property, they may have limited information about the property.  They would still want to complete the Seller Disclosures with any information they have and note on the  seller Disclosure that they have limited information about the property,

Selling a property you inherit can be a challenge and you may have many questions.  There are many things to be considered, especially if the property is out of town or even out of state.
If you decide to sell the house, finding a great real estate agent can help make the process smoother.  Real estate agents usually have a network of professionals. A good agent can refer you to resources for questions, legal, or other professional advice.

? Moving Timeline  – 13 Things to Know When Selling Your House

When it is time to move, know your moving timeline and these 13 things to minimize the stress on you and your family.

Home sellers need to start thinking about their move long before they even put their property on the market!  Yes, once the decision is made to sell your home, you need to decide where you plan to move.  Sellers will need to look around and decide what items they want to keep, what to donate, and what to throw away.  Most of us have closets and drawers that need cleaning and decluttering.

Sort and Declutter

Now is the time to go through clothes you no longer wear or want to move.  Sort clothes into three categories  1) Keep   2) Through away  3) Donate.  Look in closets and drawers.  how many years of tax returns to do you have? Are there extra boxes of holiday decorations you haven’t used in years and have not gotten around to trash or donate?

Decide what items you actually want to move.  Will all your furniture fit in your new home?  Will you be replacing sofas or chairs in favor of new ones?  If you are moving across the state or country, think about the cost to move an item (think refrigerator, washer, dryer, or soft) rather than purchasing new ones.  Can you sell these items on Craig’s list or Offer-Up and help offset the cost of replacing these items.

Check on Utilities

You will need to check on what utilities you need to set up at your new home.  Is the property all-electric?  Do you need to contact a gas company?

utilities in Mountain Park ranch
utilities in Mountain Park ranch

Who provides services for trash, sewer, and water? Ask the utility companies for their requirements for deposits. If you are looking at cable or dish TV, research these options as well.  You want to be sure you have TV and internet when you move in.

 

Schedule a Moving Company

You will need to decide if you want a moving company to come in, pack up all your belongings, load their truck, and move your household to your new home.  Call around and get estimates.  Compare the estimates of the moving costs, insurance, and on-time guarantees. Check the Better Business Bureau for reviews on the movers you are considering

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Other Moving options

There are a couple of other options for you.  You could choose to have PODs or containers delivered to your driveway.  You then pack your own belongings and place them inside the container.  The benefits of this are you can sort and load on your own timeline (If you have a home owner’s association, check for any restrictions on how long the PODs can stay in your driveway).

The companies with mobile containers will then pick up the packed containers.  Then, they can ship the containers to your new location, they can put the container in storage in your current city if there is a delay in your new home being ready to move in.  The other option is to move the containers to your new city and place it in storage at your destination.   Also, Don’t forget to check with your insurance company to understand your insurance coverage while your household is in transit.

Decide if you are going to have a Garage Sale

Depending on how much you need to dispose of, you may want to hold a garage sale.  If so, schedule a day and begin sorting items.  Additionally, assemble tables and racks for the garage sale.  Decide where you will advertise the sale. Grab a few friends to help you with the garage sale.

How Will You Get To Your New Home?

Now is the time to decide if you will fly or drive to your new home.  If you aren’t driving, you will want to make transportation arrangements for our vehicles.  This is a good time to buy your airline tickets.  Since airlines often charge hefty change fees, be sure of your dates. However, check on the airline’s pet carrying policies.  Many have changed in the past few years.

How to transport Pets

group of pets
group of pets

If you plan to fly, check on whether you can take your pet(s) on the flight.  Check with your veterinarian to be sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and get any medical records you will want to take to your new home.

Get Medical Records for the Family

Check with all your doctor to make sure you take your medical records with you. Ask if they have any recommendations for doctors at your new home.  Remember, not only the Pediatrician, Eye doctor, Dentist, and any other specialist you may use.  Be sure to carry these with you, not in the moving truck.

Get School Records

Check on the schools at your new location.   Will they send for your children’s school records, or do you need to bring a copy with you.  Ask your current school their policy for transferring school records.  You may need to get the school records ahead of time so your new school has time to determine the classroom placement of your children.  A school may need additional time if your child will be placed in a gifted or other special classroom settings.  Some schools require more testing of incoming students.  Be sure to research schools early on in your moving process. Be sure to carry these with you, not in the moving truck.

Complete a Change of Address with the Post Office

You will want to confirm your new address so you can complete a change of address with the post office.  If you are unsure of your new address or will be in temporary housing you may want to get a PO Box.  Another option would be to forward any mail to a new work address in your new city.

Dispose of Items a Mover Will Not Accept

There are some items a mover will not accept.  Typically this includes gas, oil, some household solvents, bleach, or propane.  Check to see what you can transport and what you will want to give away or dispose of properly.

Prepare an Essentials Kit

Gather together items you will need upon arrival at your new home.  Ask your mover, to place the boxes(s) in the back of the truck so it is the first box off the truck.  The box should include essential cleaning supplies,  pocket knife or scissors to help unpack, garbage bags, dish detergent, dish soap, dishcloths, and dish towels. Consider adding some snacks and a case or two of water.  Include a shower curtain and essential bathroom supplies like soap, shampoo, combs, and brushes, and a package of toilet paper. Throw in some bath towels and washcloths.  Don’t forget a change of clothes or two for everyone.  If you are traveling with pets, including bowels and food for their arrival.

Free Moving Check List

CLICK HERE    to get a Free moving list compliments of YouMoveME.com

Sellers have many things to do when preparing to move and sell their house.  Start early and use checklists to make sure you don’t have any surprises.  Moving can be stressful, but with some planning, before you leave, you will survive!  Don’t forget to carry all school and medical records with you.  That essentials kit you put together will be a lifesaver!  Happy moving!

Most of us do not move on a spur of the moment.  There is work involved in the decision on where we are moving to and decisions on timelines.  Once sellers have identified their destination and timeline, it will be a matter of planning and using a good checklist.  Moving is stressful, but very doable.  One more idea suggested by a friend is To TAKE INVENTORY.  As long as you are packing and unpacking, what better time to create an inventory for insurance purposes.  We can all look around our house and see precious keepsakes or items of value.  We also know that many of our treasures are safely packed away.  As long as you are packing up, take a few more minutes to develop a complete inventory of home items.  Happy Moving!

⚠️How to Sell Your House as a For Sale By Owner

When it is time to sell a house, some owners think about selling the house without a real estate agent.  Can an owner sell a house without a real estate agent? Absolutely!  But will you walk away with as much money? Maybe, maybe not.  Some homeowners will put up a For Sale By Owner sign in hopes of avoiding paying real estate commissions.  Some sellers will pay a buyer’s agent commission to the real estate agent that provides a buyer and successfully closes the sale.

How would you plan to sell your home on your own? Follow the eleven steps listed below.   If you are serious about selling your house on your own, these steps will ensure your house shows well and presents the house in the best light.

Declutter Your Home

Whether or not you are using a real estate agent or selling your home on your own, clean and decluttered homes sell faster and for top dollar.  Additionally, just because you are selling the house on your own doesn’t mean a buyer will overlook clutter.  Homes that are cluttered make the home appear smaller.  If you don’t have enough room for your belongings, the buyers may feel like they won’t either.

sell as for sale by owner

Hire a Professional House Cleaner

Buyers can overlook areas of the house that need updating.  Buyers can not overlook DIRTY.  Be sure you “Deep Clean” your house.  How does this differ from your weekly cleaning?  Normal cleaning involves vacuuming, mopping, and dusting.

It also includes cleaning the tub, shower, and sinks.   In the bathroom, deep cleaning would also ensure there is no mildew or mold in the shower or tub. Consider a new shower curtain.  Be sure the wastebasket is empty and clean.  Check any soap dish and scrub it well!  If necessary, wash your shower curtain liner.

Buyers will definitely look behind and at the shower curtain. Be sure the showerhead isn’t covered with calcium and scale!

Clean the Kitchen!

In the kitchen, clean the oven, glass door, and cooktop or burners. Clean under the sink as buyers will often look under the sink at storage potential and look for any leaks. Take a look at your dishwasher.

Be sure the inside is clean and the inside door sparkles. Look at the rubber gaskets in the door and clean these too!  Nothing grosses out a buyer than someone else’s dirt!  Be sure your refrigerator is clean on the front and sides.

Remove all magnets, pictures, etc from the refrigerator.  Be sure the top is cleaned off.  Even if you do not plan to leave the refrigerator behind, having a collection of magnets and pictures on the front is clutter to a buyer!.

Clean Clean, Clean

Wash all windows inside and out.  Remove screens and clean these as well.  Vacuum and clean out the inside of the window sills and window tracks. Be sure doors are spotless and do not have fingerprints!   If you have a sliding patio door, be sure the door track is cleaning.  Additionally, be sure electrical outlets and light switches are wiped clean.  If any of these are damaged, consider replacing them.

Look around all rooms and clean ceiling fans, plant shelves, especially those that may be visible from the stairway. You would be surprised how dirty the tops of plant shelves can be, they can be quite visible from the stairs.  Clean all light fixtures.

Also, be sure all the light bulbs are high wattage and working.  When buyers see a light bulb that is burned out, they don’t know if the light is broken, or whether it is a burned-out light bulb and an easy fix.

Hire a professional photographer

We know more than 90% of buyers today start their home search on the internet. We also know that in this digital world, attention spans are very short.  If buyers aren’t seeing many quality pictures of the home, they are going to move on to another property.

sell as a FSBO - professional photographer You not only need pictures of the front of the house but the insides as well.  In addition, you will want many high-quality pictures of the kitchen and bathrooms.  Next is the back yard.

In our Arizona outdoor living,  great patios and outdoor spaces sell homes.  For less than a few hundred dollars you can get quality pictures and possibly a virtual tour of the home.

 

Create a House Flyer or Brochure

When buyers come to your home you want to provide a flyer or brochure about the property.  Include such things as price, square footage of the home, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

List any updates you have made to the property, such as the date of any new roof, dates of replacement of AC units, and water heaters.  Also, note the dates of bathroom or kitchen remodeling.

The flyer or brochure should also have the property address, your name, and phone number and a few pictures, such as the front and back of the house.  Also, include any pictures of house updates.  After buyers leave your house you want them to have information on the home so they can remember the house features and call you with any questions.

Put away all your Valuables

Put away any guns, prescriptions, phones, and anything that could easily be picked up.  Most visitors to a For Sale By Owner are honest and will not bother anything in the house.  Even experienced listing agents remind sellers to put away these items.

When you are selling your house as a for sale by owner, you will be opening your home up to strangers.  You will likely not know if they even qualify for your home. Quite frankly, you will probably not know if you are opening your door to a real buyer or someone casing your house.

Are the buyers Qualified to Buy Your House?

Ask prospective buyers to bring proof of funds if paying cash or a prequalification letter from a lender if you are a For Sale By Owner. You want to know the buyers can afford to buy your house if they like it!  Keep in mind you are opening up your home to strangers.  You want to know they aren’t just looky-loos or someone casing your house.  Serious buyers will gladly provide a lender prequalification or proof of funds if paying cash.

If they are incensed or insulted, by this request,  you can be confident they are not serious buyers.  Most responsible Real Estate agents make sure their buyers are prequalified or even better, pre-approved by a lender.

Additionally, an agent will not want to show buyers properties they can’t afford.  If the buyers haven’t talked to a lender to be prequalified, why would you want to show them your house? A professional real estate agent wouldn’t show them houses, why would you?

 

Showing Your Home to Prospective Buyers

showing prospective buyers your house

Who is the person walking into your house? Have a sign-in book for a name and phone number and consider asking for ID.  Are they really prospective buyers or just checking out the property.  No legitimate buyer should decline this request.

A seller should not follow the buyers through the house and point out every piece of hardware or outlet plates you have replaced.  Let them talk among themselves and discuss the house.   Let the buyers look around casually and if there is more than one buyer, let them make comments to each other as they stroll through your house.

Additionally, give buyers time to go through the house.  Nothing will chase a buyer out of the house faster than the owner following them through the house, pointing out every little home improvement.

It is good to allow the buyers their space to comment on things in the house they like and the things they might want to change.  You might like the orange walls, but buyers may have another color in mind.  Buyers may want to rip out your kitchen cabinets update the counters.  Maybe they want to change the light fixtures.  Most buyers are not comfortable talking about changes in someone’s house with the owner present.

What purchase contract will you use?

Many sellers who are selling their home as a for sale by owner aren’t sure what purchase contact to use.  A buyer may submit an offer on a purchase contract that may or may not be acceptable.  Maybe the contract is written in favor of the buyer.  If the buyer or their agent is using the standard state of Arizona purchase contract, you can feel confident that there is a balance between the interests of the buyer and sellers.

Remember, you are entering into a binding contract.  Additionally, you want to ensure the contract states what happens to the earnest money, if or when a buyer cancels a contract.  If certain things are to happen, ie a home inspection, what is the time frame?

Can the buyer cancel anytime?  What happens if the buyer doesn’t close as agreed to? What if the buyer asks you to make repairs?

The Standard state of Arizona (Arizona Association of Realtors  (AAR)) contract has language that has been carefully written to provide protection for the buyer and seller. This contract is very specific on timeframes for Loan status updates, response times for the parties to the contract, timelines for specific requirements, ie a home inspection, and when earnest money can be refunded within the appropriate timeframes.

Be sure you understand Required Disclosures

In Arizona, sellers are required to provide buyers with a disclosure statement which informs the buyer about material facts they may want to know regarding the property.  This includes things like electrical issues, plumbing issues, the flight path of aircraft, etc. Sellers should also disclose any material facts about a property that a buyer would want to be aware of.  Sellers withholding material information could be subject to a lawsuit at a later date.

Will You Call a Buyer’s Lender?

Real Estate agents will call a lender when a purchase offer is received on a listing.  If you are selling as a For Sale by Owner, are you going to make the call?  Are the buyer’s real?  Do they have another house to sell in order to buy yours?  Additionally, do they have closing costs or do they need the sellers to help with closing costs?  As a seller, you need to be sure the buyer is ready, willing and able to buy your house.

Seller Action Items

  • If the buyer is obtaining a loan, call the lender, verify the buyer is qualified for the amount of the prequalification letter.  Ask for weekly updates so you know the buyer is providing the appropriate information to the lender in the correct timeline.
  • Understand when the buyer will schedule a home inspection.
  • Be prepared to have the buyer ask you to make repairs.selling house with realtor
  • Plan to meet the appraiser for access to the house to complete the appraisal.  Be ready for any negotiations should the appraiser not appraise the property at the contract price.
  • Contact your mortgage company to get the final pay off for your loan so you understand the amount due to you.
  • Find a title company to handle the transaction.  They will be a neutral third party company to hold the earnest money, request your loan pay-off, notify your Home Owner Association of the pending sale (and any fees associated with providing the buyer the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CCR’s) for the community.  They will also determine if there are any transfer fees charged by the HOA to transfer their records from the seller to the buyer.  The title company will send payment due for pay off to your lender as well as any Home Owner Association fees (ie disclosure fees, transfer fees, and any capital improvement fees due at closing.
  • Keep your emotions out of any negotiations.  The buyers may lot like your paint color, so don’t be offended if they plan to repaint the house and knock down a few walls.

Be Prepared to Pay A Commission to A Real Estate Buyer’s Agent

Even buyers who see your house is for sale information will often ask their Real Estate agent to contact you if they are interested in the house.  Typical commissions offered in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for buyers agents bringing a buyer to a listing is 3%.  Many buyers do not want to deal directly with a homeowner.  They prefer using a real estate agent who understands the complexity of home sales, contracts and will protect their interests.

Agents bringing a buyer will expect a commission.  So, instead of saving all the commission for your self, you may only save half.  Also, are you ready to negotiate with a professional real estate agent? Real estate agents negotiate contracts, repairs, and appraisals all day long.

Why would a real estate agent want to work with a For Sale By Owner?

Why would a real estate agent want to work with an unrepresented seller?  It can be challenging for agents to work with other agents in a transaction.  Imagine now the agent is dealing with a seller, unfamiliar with the state forms and legal process.  Do you as a seller really want to represent yourself for one of the largest financial transactions ever.  In the United States, the National Association of Realtors states that 92% of homes are sold through a real estate agent.

Of the 8% of homes sold by sellers, 4% were to a family member or relative.  This leaves 4% of home buyers purchasing a home from an unknown seller.  This doesn’t leave many buyers for the For Sale By Owner.

For Sale By Owners Have an Exposure Challenge

Most buyers will never know your house is for sale.  Buyers may drive around an area to get familiar with the neighborhood, but how do they see if your property is listed unless they drive right by it.  From the road, they don’t know if it has a pool.  Buyers won’t know if your home is updated.  Serious buyers are working with a real estate agent who can set them up on a search meeting their criteria.

Many buyers do not want to negotiate directly with a seller and figure out what contracts to use with a FSBO. Sellers who list their homes on For Sale by Owner website are limited to those buyers wanting to buy a FSBO.

Selling a home as a For Sale By Owner can be a challenge.  Can you sell your house?  Absolutely, but will you get the most money for your house?  Do you have the time and expertise to market your property?  Will you always be available to show the property to prospective buyers?

How will you know if the people who are walking through your home are even qualified? How are your negotiation skills?  Think about who would buy a home from a private individual?  Perhaps someone wanting a “deal”. Those buyers are looking to save money, the same money you are looking to save.  Call me today for a free seller consultation and let’s get your house sold!

? How to Stage a Home for Curb Appeal

When it is time to sell your home, the first view of your home buyers will have will be the front of your house.  This is what we call Curb Appeal.  As buyers pull up to the front of your house, what do they see?  As first impressions are important, this is your chance to make a great first impression for the buyers.  Typically, what buyers see on the outside of the house is what they will see on the inside.  Nice curb appeal equates to a nice inside of the house.  Sloppy and unkept curb appeal usually equals not so nice inside of the house.

Landscape

Walk to the sidewalk in front of your home.  What do you see?  Because you are used to the view, you may want to ask a friend or neighbor to do this exercise with you.  As you look to the front door, are all the bushes, plants, and trees neatly trimmed, or do they need some attention?  Are your window screens frayed or damaged?  As potential buyers look at your house, they will either see a pleasing view or a view that screams WORK!!! 

Even buyers who enjoy gardening do not want to see your overgrown yard. If you have a grass front, take a look at the edging of the grass, it should be clean and crisp.  If you have a desert landscape, be sure the weeds are not coming through the rocks.  Often cleaning up the curb appeal is a matter of cleaning and trimming.  If you have bare spaces, consider some landscape rocks or mulch.  You may also want to consult a landscaper to get the right welcoming look to your home. 

desert landscape vie with cactus

Front Door

Is your front door clean, fresh, and inviting?  You may need to give it a fresh coat of paint or varnish.  Keep in mind as buyers approach your front door, they often spend a few moments paused there while the real estate agent gets the key from a lockbox.  Sometimes the lockbox is on the front door, other times is it on the side of the house, and buyers wait for the agent to retrieve the key.

Be sure the woodwork around the door is also freshly painted and clean looking.  Add a welcoming doormat.  Be sure the windows at the front of the house are clean and sparkling.  Because often buyers can see into the house from the front door, so you want the windows clean.

Clean your front light fixtures and be sure they are dust and cobweb free.  Be sure you have a bright light bulb in the fixture.  Put a few colorful potted plants near the front door to add color and welcome your visitors. Again, this is the first impression your buyers have of your house.

As you are standing at your front door, take a look upwards  Are your fascia boards looking tired and have peeling paint, or are they nicely painted, conveying the impression of a well cared for home.  As you look around the front door, up, down, and side to side, is the view appealing?

Garage Doors

Take a look at your garage doors.  Are the lights on either side of your garage free of dust and bugs? Is there a fresh bright light bulb inside? Do you need to powerwash the garage doors so they are fresh and clean, or do they need a coat of paint? Don’t forget the wood around the garage door.  Does the wood need a coat of paint?

If you have glass inserts in the garage door, be sure these are washed and sparkle.  Sellers who take great care of the outside of their home usually take great care of the side of the home.  As buyers enter the house, you want them to have a positive feeling about what they have seen in your home so far.

garage doors 3 car garage

Sidewalks

As you look at the sidewalk leading to your front door, be sure it is well swept and free of small rocks or weeds.  You want the buyer to feel like all aspects of the front of the house are in great condition.  If necessary, be sure the grass is nicely edged next to the sidewalk and there is a smooth flow to your front door.

Back Patio

Living in Arizona, our back patios are often an extension of our living area.  A great backyard and patio area are a must for most buyers in the metro Phoenix area.  Because outdoor living is so important to Phoenix living, you will want to give this area special attention.

First, be sure all doors and windows to the backyard are clean. If you have sliding patio doors, be sure the track that the door slides in is also shiny clean.  Arrange patio furniture so buyers are invited to sit and view the yard, patio, and perhaps pool area.

Be sure the tables and chairs are clean and in good repair.  Add pots of brightly colored flowers.  Take the same care in the backyard as you do in the front yard to trim trees, bushes, and grass areas.  Because buyers will look at your backyard as a place to relax with family and friends, you don’t want them to think work as they sit on your patio.

Pool Areas

If you have a pool or spa in your yard, make this area inviting to potential buyers.  If you have a water feature, turn it on!  Even if you only turn on an aerator.  Because buyers are picturing their friends and family enjoying the backyard, let them see all the water features.  Place lounge chairs around the pool.  Again, be sure these are clean and in good condition.

Consider placing colorful beach towels on the chaise lounges.  If you have a few pool toys, if they are in good condition, consider leaving them on the side of the pool.  Have a nice storage bin or area for extra pool toys.

Where to put the pool towels?  Consider a nice basket on the patio.  Other colorful options including using a wine rack to hold towels on the patio.  Another great idea is a bin with a side opening.  In Phoenix, we often deal with summer dust storms or “Haboobs” and these bins can keep your towels clean and out of the sun.

use a wine rack to store pool towelspatio storage bins with side openings for pool towels

Don’t Forget The Storage

Great storage on a patio allows you to store your pool toys and towels in a convenient manner while having access as needed.

You don’t want a buyer thinking there isn’t enough storage space outside, so by using creative storage ideas, buyers see there is plenty of room for towels and other pool and patio items.

Consider adding uplighting to the base of your trees or rope lighting around the pool.  Often buyers will visit a home in the evening after work, and see the evening lighting options will definitely add ambiance to your backyard.

Side Yards

Don’t forget about the sides of your house.  Be sure the side isn’t a dumping ground for pottery, ladders, screens, etc.  When buyers see clutter along the side of the house, they think there isn’t enough storage space.  Ladders can go on hooks in the garage or the side of the house.  Discard old pottery or place in cabinets in the garage.  Be sure the side yard is free of weeds trees on the side of the house are trimmed.

? How to Stage a House on a Budget

 

Sellers often ask how to stage a house on a budget.  Many sellers don’t want to invest in a professional stager or can’t spend additional money when getting ready to sell.  There are some basics that can be done for minimal cost!

Declutter

I often tell sellers that the house they “live in” is not the house they “put on the market”.  Since you are moving anyway, declutter your home.  Take this opportunity to donate and discard items.  Be sure the closets are clean and orderly.  Consider removing half the items in your closets and cupboards.  Buyers do open closet and cabinet drawers. Remove magnets and other items from the refrigerator

stage house on budget

Decluttering also includes furniture.  Do you need to remove extra chairs or tables throughout the house?  Perhaps you need to rearrange what you already have in place or move items to another room.

Pack up!

You are getting ready to move, so start packing up things you will not have an immediate need. After you decide what to discard and donate, buy some plastic tubs, and start packing!  You can start packing as you declutter.  Sellers who declutter and also pack up get a jump on the final packing that will be needed once your house is under contract.

Clean

Cleaning has one of the best returns for sellers.  You want buyers to picture themselves living in your house.  If the house needs a good deep cleaning, buyers may be turned off.  buyers can overlook updating but not dirty.

A clean home tells the buyer the house has been loved and well cared for.  And, don’t forget to clean the lights at the front of the house on the exterior.  Also, these include lights on the garage or the front door.  Don’t forget any patio lights we well. Additionally, be sure the doors themselves are clean and dust-free.

Consider renting a power washer to clean the driveway and walkway to the house.  Does your back patio need attention also?  Power wash the back patio!

Curb Appeal

Walk to the sidewalk in front of your house.  How is your curb appeal?  Is the landscaping neat and trimmed?  Add a few colorful pots of flowers by the front door.  If the front door looks tires, consider painting it. These are inexpensive things to do which have a great return on your time and effort!stage house on budget

Rearrange Your Furniture

Most people have more furniture than they need.  Be sure buyers understand how to use a room.  For instance, a dining room should look like a dining room, not an office.

A bedroom should look like a bedroom, not a storage room.  Some buyers can’t see beyond a room’s appearance.  Master bedrooms should be inviting and look like a desirable place for the buyer to relax at the end of the day.

Move-in the right furniture and remove the wrong furniture.  If you stage and price your home correctly, you will have a minimal amount of inconvenience!

Use a Stager Who Will Rearrange Your Existing Furnishings

Some home stagers will rearrange your existing furniture, lamps, and wall hangings. They will offer suggestions to rearrange what you have.  The result is you are not paying for staging furniture.  Your items are repurposed or placed in a more attractive manner. As I often tell sellers, the house we live in is not the house we put on the market. Additionally, you want to help buyers picture themselves living in your house.

Also, you want buyers to be able to move freely around the house. They should be able to walk around without dodging excess furniture blocking the path.  Sellers do not want the buyers to remember their house as the “Too much furniture” house

Remove Outdated Curtains

Consider removing curtains.  If you have blinds, remove any outdated window treatments. stage a home to sell Buyers probably will not want your #window treatments.  They will want blinds, but not red or purple swags over the windows!

Add Bowls of Fruit or Fresh Flowers From The Garden

Fresh fruit in a bowl or flowers from the garden adds color and freshness to a table or kitchen counter. These are inexpensive but add a level of sophistication to a room.

Stage Your kitchen

Clear off all your counters.  Put out a nice cookbook.   You are selling a vision and lifestyle and a dream!

Let buyers see all your counter space. Remove all items but a coffee pot and perhaps a bowl of fruit.   Also, do not put a towel on the oven door.  Ensure the kitchen is clean and fresh.  Remove magnets and other distractions from your refrigerator. Additionally, be sure the top of the refrigerator is cleared off.  Also, when buyers see food items stored on the top of the refrigerator, they immediately assume there is not enough storage!

After removing all the magnets from the refrigerator, clean off the top of the refrigerator.  Be sure the oven has been cleaned and the microwave is clean.  stage a home to sellThese appliances will stay with the house the buyers will definitely be checking these out!

Depersonalize your House

You are moving!  Depersonalize the house ASAP!.  Remove the family pictures, the certificates of accomplishment for the kids on the refrigerator.  Takedown those wedding pictures of mom and dad and grandma and grandpa.

Buyers need to picture themselves living in this house, not you!  Put away your collection of Kachinas, and Hummels.  If you have any animal heads please remove those too!

Furniture

If you have tables in a dining room or kitchen, remove any tables leaves to make the table smaller and show more room in the room.  Put only 4 chairs around the table.  If you have extra chairs, please them in the garage or storage.  If you have any rooms with too much furniture, remove the furniture!

remove pets from house

Pets in the House

If possible, remove any pets from the house.  Can you send Fido to a friend or relative’s place while your house is on the market?  The house you put on the market is not the house you live in.

When showings are scheduled,  put away cat posts, animal food, and water dishes.   Additionally, put away pet beds or other clues of a pet living in the house.  Your potential buyer may not have a pet or may have pet allergies.  Also, it is a distraction for buyers to see dog bowls or cat bowls in the kitchen as they try to picture themselves living in our house.

Another huge turn off for buyers is a cat litter box. Remember, not all cat owners are meticulous in keeping the litter boxes clean.  These can be a source of unpleasant orders in a house.  Buyers often wonder if they could even get strong pets smells out of the house if they move in.

Sellers have many options when getting their house ready for the market.

There are many things a seller can do to make their house appealing and desirable to buyers. Often these things are inexpensive.   Cleaning and decluttering are inexpensive activities for sellers.

Buyers can often see beyond needed updates.  Additionally, they can plan to make updates over time and matching their taste.  However, buyers can’t get beyond a dirty house.  House odors linger and are distracting to buyers.  Also, buyers may think that a seller that does not keep the house clean could also not keep the house appropriately maintained.

⏲️ How Much Notice Should a Seller Request To Show A Home?

 

How much notice should a seller request when a buyer wants to see the house?  That depends on the sellers and their household situations.   Sometimes sellers need to gather children or remove pets from the house.  It is always better for sellers not to be home when a house is being shown to prospective buyers.  It is very uncomfortable for buyers to walk around a house and share their thoughts if a seller is in the same room.  When sellers put their homes on the market, they need to have a plan for showing requests.

 

Please Provide Agent Feedback For The Seller

Yesterday an agent in my office asked me for feedback on her listing as the house had been on the market for some time.  The sellers had a recent price reduction and were anxious to move.  They did not have many showings and received little feedback from those visits.  The listing agent and her sellers wanted someone else to take a look at the house and give honest feedback on the house. Feedback includes the condition, staging, and pricing to make sure they weren’t missing anything.

I did visit the home and provided feedback.  There were some areas needing touch-up paint and suggested some furniture be removed to give the house a roomier feel.  However, all in all, a nice home, good curb appeal, great potential for a buyer.  Additionally, the pricing was a bit high given area comparable homes.  The listing provided many pictures that showcase all rooms accurately and professionally.  Also, there were great backyard pictures of the yard and pool.

 

Realtor Showing Instructions

So what could be the problem?  The Realtor showing instructions ask Realtors to contact the listing agent AND  give 24 hours notice for showing the property. Now there are two very small children in the home.  And I understand that it is difficult to keep a house in showing condition 24 X 7. However, as a mother who has sold several homes while working full time and having small children waiting to drop toys around the house at will, I understand the challenge.  But the question is, do you want to sell your house?  At a minimum when listing a house the listing agent needs to explain to the seller the impact of requiring a lengthy showing notice.  Also, any showing restriction has the potential to reduce showings, regardless of how valid the restriction.

Sellers Need To Make A Home Available For Buyers

Sellers need to have their home available to show with reasonable notice.   I do understand small children in a home, elderly parents, pets, etc.  My recommendation is for sellers to try to accommodate reasonable showings. Also, we are often calling to confirm property availability the day or evening before we go out with buyers.  Who hasn’t had that call asking if we could just add “this” property to the list for the day?  I think 24 hours is too much notice and keeps many showings from happening.  In addition, when you are showing several properties in an area, the buyer may not want to go back to a property later. This is a  missing seller opportunity.  It only takes ONE buyer!  Here in Phoenix we typically do not see a 24-hour requirement for showing a home.

A Showing Request Should not be a Surprise

I certainly think a 24-hour notice request for most sellers means fewer showings (the occasional family dinner or birthday celebration). Certainly, there are reasons to ask for an alternate time-frame, but the buyer may not be available.  Sellers need to think about how much time they really need to prepare for buyers.  Additionally, sellers understand the need to always keep a house in showing condition.  A couple of hours notice or showing the house later that same day seem to be reasonable requests.

When meeting with buyers during my Buyer Consultation I  do let buyers know that I always need to check for Realtor Instructions before showing a house.  As a result, some may be occupied and have specific showing instructions (ie pets in the home).  Also, some have alarms and I may need to call for an alarm code if it is not in my MLS information.  Additionally, if the house is vacant, often showing instructions say it is vacant and show any time. Buyers always find it odd that someone has their house for sale and always needs 24 hours notice.  Often buyers will laugh and say “Why don’t they want to sell the house?”

 

List Your Home Or Sell Your Home?

Do You Want To Sell Your Home?
Do You Want To Sell Your Home?

Sellers who wish to SELL their home, not just LIST it need to let potential buyers see the home. So, what will you become, a LISTER or a SELLER?

 

 

 

 

? Complete Phoenix Utility List

If you are looking for a Phoenix utility list for Ahwatukee, look no further.

When you are ready to move you will want to contact the local utility companies, whether you are buying or selling a home.  For home buyers, you will need to determine which services you need.  If you are new to the community, you may not be familiar with what utilities are available in your new area.  When you are selling, you will want to either cancel your service or transfer service to your new home.  Whether you are thinking about buying or selling a home, contact me today for our buyer or seller’s guide.  Contact the Shirley Coomer Real Estate group at 602-770-0643, either call or text.

electricPower in Phoenix

There are two main electricity providers in the Phoenix Metro area, Salt River Project (SRP) and  Arizona Public Service (APS).  However, your service area depends on your location in the Phoenix area.  You will have one company or the other servicing your home area.

For SRP service:   Residential Customer Services (electric)   

For APS service:    Residential Customer Services (electric)      (602) 371-7171

southwest gas Gas Company – Southwest Gas

Arizona Public Service Company – · (602) 371-7171

 

TV set Phoenix area Cable Companies and Dish Services

In the Phoenix area, it is very common for cable companies to offer cable, internet, and phone services bundled in packages.

American High-Speed Internet   (602) 258-0303

Cox Cable   844-237-0139

Dish             877-766-8019

Planet Earth Satellite Dish Network Authorized Retailer  (602) 888-7298

Channel Choice   (602) 753-0659
Cable One Inc.     (602) 364-6000
DIRECTV             (855) 802-3473
Phoenix Internet   (602) 234-0917

 

trash Trash, Water & Sewer Services

In the city of Phoenix,  the city provides water, sewer, and trach through the City of Phoenix Services   602-262-6011

 

 

Mail

Set up new service or forward your mail through United States Postal Services (USPS)

 

Once you have figured out  about Selling Your Home Quickly in Phoenix, Arizona, what is next?

? Seller Contract to Close – What Should Sellers  Expect?

What should sellers expect once they are under contract?  Sellers can expect a buyer to do one or many inspections such as a home inspection, termite inspection, roof, or pool inspection. Also, the buyer’s lender will also schedule an appraisal of the property.  Additionally, sellers need to make their houses available for these inspections. This may mean gathering up children and pets to vacate the house.

confused women

Complete The Property Seller Disclosure Statement (SPDS)

The seller is required to provide seller disclosures to buyers within 3 days of an accepted purchase contract. Most agents ask sellers to complete the SPDS at the beginning of the listing process.  Since this is a very important 7-page document, sellers should have plenty of time to complete it.  Also, information on this disclosure can alert a buyer to questions they may want to ask their home inspector.

The Buyer Will Schedule Inspections (home, termite, roof, etc)

Most buyers will schedule a home inspection.  Arizona contracts provide the buyer a 10 day home inspection (unless otherwise negotiated).  The day after the contract is fully executed starts day one of the inspection period. Also, during this time, the buyer must schedule any inspection that is important to them.  And, most buyers in Arizona schedule a home and termite inspection.

As a seller, be sure all light bulbs are working in all fixtures.  Be sure the home inspector can access all areas, such as the garage.  However, It is fine to have items in the garage, but the inspector will need to check the functionality of the garage door.  Also, be sure there is clear access if the inspector will need to access the attic from the garage. And, be sure the access is not blocked to any access doors from the garage.

Sellers – Leave the House!

Sellers should plan to leave the house during the buyer’s inspection.  The home inspector will take from 2 – 4 hours to complete the inspection.  Typically a buyer and their agent will arrive at the house at the end of the inspection for a walk through with the home inspector. Be sure to remove any dogs or cats during the inspection.  A home inspector is in and out of the house, checking doors, lights, the exterior, etc.  And, you don’t want your pet to escape.  Also, you don’t want your dog to bite the inspector!

A Buyer Will Likely Ask For Repairs After Reviewing The Home Inspection

In Arizona, buyers are required to provide the seller with a copy of the home inspection.  Also, along with the inspection report, you will likely get a repair request. Also, you will have five days to respond to the request.  Sellers can agree to make all the requested repairs or refuse to do any. However, A seller can pick and choose among the repairs requested.  Also, sellers can also agree with some items and decline the repair of others.  There are times when a seller will offer a buyer credit in lieu of actually making the repairs.

Seller Response

If the seller does not agree to complete all requested repairs (or come to an agreement with the buyer for a buyer credit) the buyer can cancel the contract and have their earnest money refunded.  Sellers also need to understand that if the buyer does cancel, the next buyer will do a home inspection, and the same items will likely come up again.

Ensure Your Buyer’s Loan is Progressing

The Arizona purchase contract requires a buyer to submit a loan prequalification form with their initial offer.  The contract requires the buyer to submit a loan status update 10 days after the contract is executed.  After this, buyers should provide a weekly update provided by the buyer’s lender.  Also, this shows the seller that the buyer’s loan is moving along and the buyer is providing requested documents to their lender as needed.

Sellers Need to Complete any Agreed Upon Repairs

Once the seller has agreed to make repairs, the next step is to get the repairs completed in a “workmanlike” manner’ according to the Arizona purchase contract.  Sellers are also required to submit any paid receipts evidencing the repairs 3 days prior to closing.stage a vacant house Hopefully, a seller had a home inspection on the property prior to placing it on the market.  This will let the seller know what items will likely show up on the buyer’s inspection.  When sellers do a pre-inspection they are able to get repairs completed and have time to get multiple estimates if needed.

Make the House Available for The Appraiser

Appraisers typically are at a house for about 30 minutes.  Also, they will look at all rooms, measure the rooms, and look at the exterior of the property.  Additionally, the appraiser is looking at the house to understand the property condition and updates, so they can value the property. Also, Appraisers typically look at 3 active listings and 3 properties that have closed.

Additionally, they are looking to compare your house to “comparable” homes. Also, If you have a 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom, single level home with a pool, the appraiser will look for those features in other properties near you. Fortunately, you don’t need to leave the house for the appraisal but be sure your pets are secure.

 

Complete any Documents the Title Agency Sends You

A copy of the purchase contract will be delivered to the Title Company once the contract is executed.   Also, they will send you documents to complete.  Also, be sure to complete and return these in a timely manner.  Additionally, one of the key documents asks where you want the proceeds from the sale of the house wired.  Also, you may elect to receive a check.  Keep in mind that many banks today place a hold on large checks, so if you need these funds immediately, consider having funds wired.  The title company will ask if you have a loan on the property. Additionally, the escrow officer will ask for your lender and loan information.

Title Agency Title SearchThe title company will conduct a title search on your property.  Any liens on the property are identified with the title search. Additionally, the title search will show your current loan, but it will also show any other liens on your property.  Also, these could be liens placed by the IRS or any mechanic’s liens for work performed.  For example, if you had remodeling work done on your house, but didn’t pay the contract, the contractor could have placed a lien on the property.

Schedule Your Movers

Contact movers for estimates and scheduling before you list your house.  Aso, remember that Spring and summer months are especially busy for moves. Also, the closing date on your contract is the date when ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

stage house on budget

Consequently, you need to be completely out of the house the day prior to closing.

Schedule a Time to Sign Your Closing Documents

Sellers can sign their closing documents several days prior to the closing.  Buyers have to wait for loan documents to be prepared and sent to the title company, but not sellers. Also, be sure the title company has your information to ensure your seller proceeds are sent where you want them.

Schedule Your Utilities to be turned off the day After Closing

The buyers will be scheduling the utilities on in their name as of the closing day.  However, do not turn off your utilities early as buyers need to complete a final walkthrough on your house, and the utilities need to be turned on.  Even if you move out several days ahead of closing, leave utilities on.  Additionally, with no one living there, your cost should be minimal.  It is important a buyer can turn on lights and flush toilets as part of the final walkthrough.

Don’t Leave Anything Behind

Take a final walk through the house once you think you have everything packed and cleaned.   Also, did you leave any dishes in the dishwasher?   And, If you left a washer and dryer, check these too!  What about any closet or storage area.  Additionally, sometimes it helps to have a friend take a walk through and help check. Also, it is easy to miss a whole cupboard or shelf.  Working with movers can be distracting. Don’t forget the outside.  Additionally, sellers should make sure they don’t miss patio furniture or items on the side of the house.

Sellers should leave their old house clean for buyers. Also, hire a professional cleaner to go through the vacant house. Bathrooms and kitchens should be spotless.  Additionally, floors should be vacuumed or mopped.  Any appliances in the kitchen should be clean from the oven to the refrigerator (if you left it).

Leave Keys and Other Information for the BuyerLeave your house and mailbox keys on a counter or in a kitchen drawer.  Also, it is a nice touch to leave a note with the location of the mailbox (if there isn’t door delivery) and the mailbox number.  Don’t forget the garage door opener.  Additionally, If you have a keypad on the garage door, write that down as well.  Don’t forget any other keys the buyer would need, such as a key for the electrical panel (in Arizona these are usually on the outside of the house and often locked)  And, do you have a key to an outside storage area?  Also, what about a community pool or clubhouse?  The buyer also appreciates information on trash day.

Travel Plans

Time to Move! Work and planning go into the sale of your house!   However, with the help of a great real estate agent, you will be able to price your home correctly.  Also, you will also have your house in showing condition.  The house that you live in is NOT the house you put on the market.  And remember, buyers need to be able to see themselves living in your house.  Additionally, decluttering and cleaning will make it easier for buyers to visualize themselves in your house.   And you will be moving in no time!

Phoenix Homes on the Market in the last 7 days $250,000 – $350,000

Contact the Shirley Coomer Group at Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living

Mountain Park Ranch Real Estate

Call or Text: 602-770-0643 for more Real Estate information

Selling Your Home Quickly in Phoenix, Arizona

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Selling Your Home Quickly in Phoenix, Arizona
Article Name
Selling Your Home Quickly in Phoenix, Arizona
Description
Several suggestions for selling your home quickly in Phoenix, Arizona. Suggestions to declutter, how to stage your home to make it appeal to the most buyers.
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Shirley Coomer Group
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